May 18, 2016: Woman Charged with Illegally Administering Silicone Injections
U.S. Department of Justice Press Release
For Immediate Release
United States Department of Justice
Northern District of Georgia
ATLANTA - Deanna M. Roberts has been arrested on charges that while falsely claiming to be a licensed medical practitioner, she illegally transported liquid silicone from Florida to Atlanta and that she caused the death of another person by injecting the liquid silicone directly into the victim's buttocks.
“Roberts allegedly caused the death of another person by injecting her with silicone after falsely claiming she was a medical professional,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “The public should be wary of individuals who use substances like silicone in ways that are not approved by the FDA, or that are administered by persons who are not properly trained or licensed.”
“The FDA protects the public’s health by ensuring, among other things, that medical devices are safe and effective for their intended uses,” said Robert J. West, Special Agent in Charge, FDA Office of Criminal Investigations’ Miami Field Office. “We are fully committed to bringing to justice those who subvert FDA’s requirements and place unsuspecting American consumers at risk of serious harm by using unapproved and unsafe devices.”
“It is always a tragedy when someone loses their life due to the reckless negligence of another. This death shows why there is a need for FDA oversight and highlights the dangers when the system is illegally circumvented. We are thankful for the successful indictment of Deanna Roberts and pray that other lives can be saved by removing her ability to perform this dangerous activity,” Chief John F. King, Doraville Police Department.
“The underground operation of illegal injections has become more common and has threatened the health of victims,” said Atlanta Police Chief George N. Turner. “We will continue to work with our federal partners to combat this crime and expose perpetrators who risk the health of victims, for the sake of making a quick profit.”
According to U.S. Attorney Horn, the indictment, and other information presented in court: liquid silicone is strictly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and may be legally injected directly into the human body only as a treatment for certain eye conditions. In April, 2004, Roberts began ordering liquid silicone from a business in Arizona. Before she was allowed to buy the silicone, however, she was required to certify that it was not intended to be injected into humans. Roberts falsely swore that she did not intend to inject the silicone into humans. Instead, she claimed that she intended to supply the silicone to a customer for use in lubricating medical equipment. Between April 2004 and December 2015, Roberts purchased approximately 178 gallons of liquid silicone. Roberts then allegedly transported the liquid silicone to the Atlanta area and injected it into the hips, buttocks, and other body parts of her customers. Roberts falsely claimed to her victims that she was a licensed medical practitioner.
On November 16, 2015, Roberts allegedly injected liquid silicone into the buttocks of a victim identified as L.H. in the indictment. The indictment alleges that in doing so, Roberts caused the death of L.H. The indictment also alleges that Roberts injected another person with liquid silicone on the same date and that Roberts injected two others in October and November 2014. These individuals, however, did not die from the injections.
Deanna M. Roberts, 46, of Sanford, Florida, was arrested on May 17, 2016, and made her initial appearance on these charges in federal court in Orlando, Florida.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, the Doraville Police Department, and the Atlanta Police Department.
Assistant United States Attorney William L. McKinnon, Jr. and Special Assistant United States Attorney Erin Sanders are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.
The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.