A man who was performing illegal dental work out of a Davie warehouse was arrested during a raid on the makeshift office Wednesday, police said.
John Collazos, 47, was taken into custody when he arrived at the warehouse at 5071 S. State Road 7 shortly before 9 a.m., Davie Police spokesman Capt. Dale Engle said.
A SWAT team executing a search warrant at the address found a complete dental set up in a back area of the business, which is listed as a dental supply company, Engle said.
According to Engle, Collazos, of Colombia, was investigated by Hollywood Police in 2010 for an illegal dental practice but fled when police went to arrest him.
Davie Police began an investigation in July when a woman reported the illegal operation, Engle said. The woman also told police Collazos had sexually battered her, Engle said.
"During one of the visits, the individual made some sexual overt comments to her, which made her feel uncomfortable," Engle said.
Though Collazos was taken into custody without incident, Engle said the SWAT team was used because police had learned Collazos used a guard at the warehouse.
"We have a concern anytime we enter someone else's place, what you may encounter in there," Engle said. "We had information that there may be a guard that was at the door, letting people in and out."
No one else was taken into custody, but three people arrived while police were at the scene to receive dental work, Engle said.
Engle said it appeared Collazos had been running the operation for awhile, but he said there were no reports of injuries from the dental work.
"I would have to say that anybody that's gone to the dentist and had any serious work done, would understand the magnitude of a sanitary environment," Engle said. "And I'm gonna tell you this probably wasn't the most sanitary environment that you could go into."
Collazos was charged with four counts of practicing dentistry without a license, four counts of using dental equipment and one count of simple battery. It was unknown whether he has an attorney. No one was available to talk at his home.
"He was, for lack of a better term, preying on people whose immigration status may have been questionable and had no other place to go and he used that to his advantage to get these people into his business," Engle said.
The arrest comes just days after an elderly man, his wife and daughter were arrested for running a makeshift dental office out of a Little Havana home.
"We've seen it before. You know, we had a meth lab in the other side and then we had a raid on some kind of car situation," said Martin Gallardo, who works in the area.