CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (FOX 2) - A man is being charged with operating a dentistry practice without a license in Clinton Township. Authorities say the man set up shop in his basement with quite an "elaborate" set up.
Macomb County prosecutor Eric Smith said Friday that the man bought dentist equipment off eBay through China. Investigators found a dentist chair, an x-ray machine, molds for teeth and other items in a downstairs room.
Smith said the defendant told investigators he had been to dental school in Albania and that he'd been a dentist since 1989. The year wasn't given but authorities said the suspect came to the U.S. on a work visa, and that his immigration status is in question right now. It appears he may have overstayed his visa.
Records and computers were seized from the basement during a search warrant. Smith said investigators did not find any kind of paper customer records or any narcotics.
The suspect told authorities after he was taken into custody that he was seeing one to two patients per day, and that he used his church as a word-of-mouth referral service. Investigators weren't sure of the name of the church but say it is in Rochester Hills.
Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith says someone sent an anonymous letter to a nearby dentist and reported what was going on. That dentist called police in Clinton Township.
It's not known right now how long the suspect had been doing the procedures from his basement.
Authorities also aren't sure yet of exactly how many patients were seen, or exactly what type of procedures were performed. They said when they were executing the search warrant that someone pulled up to the house for a teeth cleaning.
The case is still ongoing as investigators work to round up patients to see exactly what kind of work took place in the basement. As of right now, the suspect has been charged with the crime of health professional operating without a license, a 4-year felony.
Investigators say they believe his wife helped take appointments. She has not been taken into custody and is not facing any charges at this time.