‘Fake’ Botox trial set to begin this week

EDINBURG — The long anticipated trial of a Brownsville woman accused of injecting women with fake Botox is set to begin Monday.

Nohemi “Mimi” Gabriela Gonzalez, 48, is expected to finally face a jury trial in connection with two counts of practicing medicine without a license, and one count of aggravated assault nearly three years after her initial arrest in October 2013, according to court records.

Deputies with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office arrested Gonzalez on Oct. 30, 2013, at a Mission business operating as a spa in the 2000 block of West Business 83, according to jail records.

At the time sheriff’s officials said Gonzalez might have injected as many as 30 people with the fake Botox, which in reality was liquid silicone.

Investigators said she administered the injections — between one and 30 shots per patient — in people’s homes and at the spa business in Mission.

In November 2014, Gonzalez pleaded guilty to all three charges and agreed to pay one of her victims $52,000 in restitution. In exchange, Gonzalez would receive probation in lieu of prison time, according to court records.

But at Gonzalez’s sentencing hearing in January 2015, her newly appointed attorney, O. Rene Flores, filed a motion to have her guilty plea thrown out after he discovered the court failed to swear in Gonzalez at her November plea deal hearing, court records show.

Gonzalez also claimed her attorney during the plea deal hearing, Juan Alvarez, failed to properly advise her and “forced” her to agree to the plea deal.

State District Judge Noe Gonzalez granted the motion and the trial proceedings have been pending.

Flores declined comment as did attorney for the state, Vance Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is one of at least four women in the Rio Grande Valley arrested in connection with unsanctioned cosmetic procedures since October 2013.

About a year after Gonzalez’s arrest, Maribel Quintero, 38, of Pharr, was arrested in September 2014 after federal agents raided her home and seized two bottles of liquid silicone and syringes filled with industrial grade silicone, according to court documents.

Quintero, an amateur bodybuilder, nail stylist, and stay-at-home mother, was ultimately sentenced to more than two years in federal prison in October 2015, court records show.

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