Drop It Like It's Hot! weight loss clinic worker charged with unlicensed practice of health care

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — A 39-year-old Winter Haven woman was arrested Tuesday at a weight loss clinic on six counts of unlicensed practice of health care, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said.

Jesusadelaida “Jesse” Lopez was arrested at the Dr. Drop It Like It's Hot! clinic on Cypress Gardens Boulevard near Helena Road Southeast in Winter Haven, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Carrie Horstman said.

“Lopez works at the clinic with a licensed medical doctor and has been performing medical procedures herself and portraying herself as a registered nurse,” she said. “Lopez does not hold any medical degrees.”

Deputies said Lopez previously had a Florida pharmacy technician license, but it expired in 2014.

The Drug Enforcement Administration suspended the clinic's dispensing of phentermine, which is prescribed for weight loss, because it found the clinic to be in violation of the requirements dealing with the proper storage of controlled substances during an audit, investigators said.

Deputies said the DEA was told that the clinic’s social media appeared to show Lopez performing medical procedures and advertised medical marijuana available at the clinic.

“Detectives learned that Lopez was operating a business within the clinic called ‘Dr. Compassionate 420,’ which advertised medical marijuana consultations,” Horstman said. “Lopez had at least three Facebook pages on which she advertised herself as the owner of both businesses, wearing medical scrubs with both business names and clothing adorned with marijuana leaves.”

Investigators said Lopez told them that the clinic is in the process of creating a medical marijuana dispensary and is working on meeting the requirements.

Lopez showed the investigators a vaporizer and empty medical marijuana vials with labels indicating they contained THC and CBD oil combinations, investigators said.

Deputies said she told them that either she or the doctor would perform a consultation and would complete an order for medical marijuana.

“When the investigators asked her about being an R.N., Lopez stated initially that she was an R.N., then said she used to be an R.N. before she decided to further her education,” Horstman said. “She said she worked at Heart of Florida Hospital in several departments, including the ICU, CCU and ER.”

The incident remains under investigation.