RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Botox is classified as a dangerous drug and that's why only licensed professionals are allowed to administer it. But is that law really being enforced ? We investigated two separate cases where law enforcement seemed to turn a blind eye when it came to cracking down on the illegal use of botox.
A Reno woman we'll call "Bonnie", says she received a botox injection in the fall of 2011 at a party in Reno. Days later, she realized something had gone very wrong.
"I had a reaction to where my eye was droopy , and I couldn't see while I was driving. It looked like someone had punched me," Bonnie said.
Bonnie, who asked that we conceal her identity and not use her real name, says she received the botox injection from Sandra Bledsoe, who also goes by the name Sandra Rennert.
Bonnie says she was forced to spend hundreds of dollars on special eye drops to undo the damage that was done.
"To release the botox out of my muscle so the eyeball would open, that took about a month and a half," Bonnie told News 4.
News 4 has learned Sandra Rennert was arrested in Las Vegas in 2011 on three counts of practicing medicine without a license, which is a felony. Police say she'd gone to a hotel room and administered botox injections illegally. Despite her arrest though, the case mysteriously never even made it to court. Metro Police in Las Vegas tell News 4 the Clark County District Attorney dropped the ball. But the D-A's office says Metro never submitted a complete investigation to them. After we started asking questions, the D.A.'s office agreed to review the case, nearly two years after Sandra was arrested.
And "Bonnie" filed her own detailed complaint with the Nevada State Medical Board outlining the problems she suffered from that botox injection. But that complaint got lost when the medical board sent it to police in Las Vegas instead of Reno where the incident happened.
Bonnie never heard a word after taking her complaint to those in charge.
"No one contacted me so i didn't know if they caught her or just weren't interested in it," she told us.
The Fact Finder team has uncovered it's all too easy for these cases to fall through the cracks. The state medical board regulates licensed doctors but doesn't have the power to arrest someone who's not licensed.
"The medical board, nursing board, pharmacy board have no jurisdiction if they're not our licensees," said Doug Cooper, chairman of the Nevada Medical Board.
That means it's up to police to find the perpetrator, before people like Bonnie wind up getting hurt. Bonnie says its clear from her case that more enforcement is needed.
"I don't think she should be out there doing it. I think you should be a licensed professional. After finding out she was licensed in nothing I felt very hurt," Bonnie said.
We called Reno Police and gave them the information we've been able to dig up. They agreed to contact Bonnie and from there they'll decide whether to launch an investigation.
Since we began asking questions the state health department and nursing board have both launched investigations to get to the bottom of this.
We have reached out to Sandra Bledsoe to get her side of the story. We received an email from her lawyer, Paola Armeni in Las Vegas. Armeni says in the email she's concerned some of the information in our story is innacurate but at this point she has not provided any more specifics.