PAYSON, Utah — A Utah man was arrested for allegedly performing the duties of a physician, after an immigrant he supposedly treated and permanently disfigured, notified law enforcement.
The Payson City Police Department and Utah’s Attorney General’s Office investigated Edgar Flores, 65, and sent an undercover agent to his home on 580 West in Payson to advance the investigation. He was arrested for selling prescription drugs, forgery, communication fraud and practicing medicine without a license. In a press release, the Utah Attorney General’s office identified the man as Edgar Flores Bobadilla while court documents did not.
“For months we’ve been investigating this case and have found Flores-Bobadilla took advantage of his patients and charged them a lot of money for his ‘treatments,’” said Brendan Call, section chief of the Utah Attorney General’s Office Investigations Division. “People paid thousands of dollars each, partly because undocumented workers often distrust the traditional system. And in these cases, he was carelessly and repeatedly putting their lives at risk.”
In probable cause documents, investigators say Flores diagnosed the undercover agent with multiple sclerosis and other ailments and demanded payments of “multiple thousands of dollars in cash” for medical services to be performed in his home.
Court documents said Flores practiced medicine from his private residence while only taking patients on a referral basis and only accepted patients who were said to have immigrated illegally to the U.S. The investigation uncovered that Flores was not licensed to practice medicine or dispense prescriptions or controlled substances. According to police, Flores told the undercover agent he would be able to “cure” the illness but stressed the need to keep the medical treatments confidential.
On Tuesday, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant of the home and said they discovered “numerous medical supplies and medical instruments.” They also said they found $140,000 in cash, according to the AG’s office, who also said years worth of medical records were found in the home. Flores was also said to have Social Security cards and Utah driver licenses, not issued by federal and state governments.
Police requested Flores be held without bail because he was an “extreme flight risk” and was a threat to flee to Mexico, where he is originally from and where he obtained his medical supplies. Police also said if released he would continue to see patients and “expose the vulnerable immigrant population to further harm.”
The court documents said the investigation is ongoing and further criminal charges could be filed by the attorney general’s office that said more victims could come forward.