Whalesca Castillo pleaded guilty in September 2011 to charges related to operating a plastic surgery clinic without a medical license and served a year in federal prison. Released on probation after completing her sentence, Castillo picked back up right where she left off without skipping a beat. Soon after, she was sent back to prison for an additional nine months. Now, Castillo has been arrested yet again.
Whalesca Castillo, 44, was taken into custody on a manslaughter charge. Authorities allege a female client Castillo injected with silicone for cosmetic reasons died of an embolism in June. 2018. The supposed cosmetic surgeon, who was actually unlicensed and operating a fly by night clinic, had been arrested twice before and charged with providing illegal silicone injections, often referred to as a “Brazilian butt lift,” to other women.
One client had texted Castillo after a procedure, complaining of leaking blood and liquid from her buttocks and legs, according to court documents. Castillo replied, “Buy some crazy glue and put it on.”
She pleaded guilty in September 2011 to charges related to operating a plastic surgery clinic without a medical license and served a year in federal prison. Released on probation after completing her sentence, Castillo picked back up right where she left off without skipping a beat. She began performing silicone enhancement procedures again in March 2014 and was sent back to prison for an additional nine months.
Castillo was most recently arrested on a state charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and the unauthorized practice of a profession linked to the death of Lesbia Ayala. The 48-year-old client passed on June 17 of an embolism after Castillo pumped silicone into her buttocks and thighs. Ayala had traveled from Philadelphia to Castillo’s apartment in New York for the illegal procedure.
Cardi B, the former exotic dancer turned hip-hop singer, admitted in 2018 to receiving silicone injections in her buttocks and thighs for $800 from an underground medical clinic in Queens. She did not receive any painkillers and the injection site leaked for almost a week. All too often, these procedures are fatal, as silicone injected directly into tissues in the legs can be carried by veins to vital organs, including the heart and lungs. Injecting silicone for cosmetic purposes has been illegal since the 1960s.
“It must be noted that the fluids are injected directly into human tissue,” prosecutors wrote. “Unlike silicone gel implants, which are extracted when they leak, silicone injected directly into tissue cannot be removed and therefore represents a long-term hazard.”
Underground clinics continue to operate in the New York City area, however. In 2013, Tamara Blaine, only, 22 at the time, died after receiving silicone injections at the Liberty Motel in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. Tamira Mobley, a self-described beautician, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
In 2017, Latesha Bynum, 44, died after receiving injections inside an apartment, where a cash-only plastic surgery clinician was operating. Authorities arrested Kevin Richardson and Allison Spence. Richardson pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and Spence is still awaiting trial.
Castillo’s federal case in 2011 revealed the con artist had received hundreds of bottles of silicone gel from the Dominican Republic, marked in Spanish as “silicone for hair” or “for body massage.” Appointments were arranged by telephone, and clients received injections at the various Bronx houses where Ms. Castillo operated, and she disposed of medical waste on nearby sidewalks.
In 2012, Castillo also pleaded guilty in state court to third-degree grand larceny for falsely claiming $30,000 in welfare benefits from the city Human Resources Administration.