Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Defendant injected individuals with silicone oil, which can cause stroke, death or disfigurement
BOSTON – A North Andover woman was sentenced today in federal court in Boston for performing illegal silicone injections in exchange for money.
Gladys Araceli Ceron, 73, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to two years in prison and two years of supervised release. The judge reserved judgment on restitution for a later date. On April 2, 2021, Ceron pleaded guilty to five counts of delivery for pay of an adulterated or misbranded medical device received in interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead.
“For 15 years, Ms. Ceron chose to make money by injecting her cosmetics customers with toxic silicone – all the while knowing that by doing so she was exposing them to serious harm, disfiguration and potentially death,” said Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell. “We are committed to protecting the health and safety of the public, and the sentence imposed by the court shows that people who callously put people at great risk of harm will be punished.”
“Injecting silicone oil not approved for human use can result in serious bodily injury or death,” said Jeffrey J. Ebersole, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, New York Field Office. “We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who offer this dangerous product to the public.”
From approximately 2004 to 2019, Ceron, who operated her business in Lawrence, performed illegal bodily injections using “gluteal material” that she obtained from a source in Florida. Lab tests of the material subsequently confirmed that it contained silicone oil – a substance that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns can travel through blood vessels and cause a stroke, death or permanent disfigurement.
In 2018, Ceron agreed to perform buttock enhancing and facial injections for an individual. During a recorded meeting on May 24, 2018, Ceron told the individual that she charged $500 for buttock injections and $60 for each wrinkle-filling injection. A search of Ceron’s business in Lawrence the following month resulted in the seizure of several bottles and syringes of a substance that tests revealed to be silicone oil. Numerous uncapped, used syringes were also recovered from the business.
Ceron admitted to performing illegal injections to augment the buttock or fill wrinkles of five victims in exchange for money and misled her victims about her qualifications and the identity and safety of the material she was injecting. According to court documents, the government estimates that hundreds or thousands of individuals may be victims of the illegal injections she performed.
Acting U.S. Attorney Mendell, FDA OCI SAC Ebersole and Justin C. Fielder, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations, Miami Field Office made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachel Y. Hemani of Mendell’s Health Care Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.
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