- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A man who authorities said operated an unsanctioned mobile dentistry service in Santa Fe was sentenced to six years in prison after customers detailed his poor work.

State District Court Judge Glenn Ellington called Mexican national Eliver Kestler a “one-man health hazard” to residents of Santa Fe. He was sentenced Monday.

Prosecutors said Kestler didn’t use gloves or anesthesia while working on patients and carried his tools in a dirty toolbox. He preyed on disadvantaged people, especially immigrants, authorities said.

Kestler “felt he could take advantage of his victims without facing any consequences,” Assistant District Attorney Peter Valencia said.

Kestler was arrested nearly a year ago following a tip from a former customer.

Investigators discovered Kestler with a portable drill machine and other dental equipment in a small, red sedan. He told police he had a dentistry license in Mexico but not in the U.S.

A former patient told the court he got an infection that harmed his eyesight after Kestler removed four teeth that were in good condition.

“Right now my teeth are breaking in half one-by-one,” said Blanca Castillo, another former patient who said she suffered an infection after Kestler worked on her, which nearly resulted in the loss of her eye.

Kestler pleaded guilty to four counts of practicing dentistry without a license and one count of forgery.

Kestler said in court that some of his accusers were lying.

“I think I’ve been a victim of these people,” he said. “I never had the intention in my heart to damage anyone.”

Still, Ellington chided Kestler for targeting residents who lived in the shadows of society.

“The sad thing is you were doing it for profit,” the judge told Kestler. “I am sure you came to Santa Fe for a better life, but you can’t do that by preying on people.”

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