Valentina Riva started losing up to seven pounds a week taking a diet pill known as Fruta Planta.
She said it was great until she became sick.
“Then I started to feel a pain in my back and a month later I had to go to the hospital,” she said.
Although the pill is advertised as all natural, it’s not. It has two chemicals that cause death, authorities said. Riva bought her pills online and although no one knows who the distributor was, officials say they caught one man accused of selling the pills.
Renzo Carbajal was arrested in April and faces a host of drug charges, authorities said. He has been released on $32,500 bond.
His attorney said he has pleaded not guilty and will fight the charges.
Carbajal had almost 14,000 pills on him when he was arrested, authorities said. He sold the pills on the Internet, eBay, via email and by word-of-mouth.
Initially, a tip led undercover officials to a building in Little Havana where Carbajal was running his operation, authorities said. He was getting a large number of deliveries in the mail and officials intercepted them and allegedly discovered the pills.
A man in China is also being tracked as he is believed to have shipped the pills and fake identification cards that Carbajal used to open business shipping accounts to get the pills to Florida, authorities said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website can answer questions about contaminated weight loss products.