WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A Rockville man has been charged with practicing medicine without a license after being accused of running an illegal blood bank out of an abandoned southwest D.C. apartment.
Charging documents filed in D.C. Superior Court said Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers responded to 70 P St. SW for reports of someone withdrawing blood from people and paying them $30.00 per withdrawal.
Police reported they saw a large group of people gathered across the street from the apartment and others walking out of the building. Police added that the people seen leaving the building were known to them as "habitual substance abusers" and did not live in the building.
A witness in the building told police told police that she was enrolled in a "work study" and that people were "entering her apartment, having their blood drawn and being paid."
Police said they then made contact with the accused, Khoa Hoang Nguyen, 43, of Rockville, Md., who said he worked for a company called "Boston Biosource" and that he was approved and certified to take blood from people. He allegedly told police he had taken blood from 20 people on Wednesday and 20 people on Tuesday, however, police reported they found a ledger with a further 205 names on it.
Police also reported a large quantity of used needles and vials in the apartment and said that the blood was not being drawn or stored "in a manner consistent with professional practices."
Police said Nguyen was unable provide documentation to support his claims and they were unable to get a hold of anyone at the company he claimed he worked for, nor was DCW50 News at 10. The D.C. Department of Health also informed police that Nguyen was not a licensed medical professional in D.C. and the building was not a medical facility or an approved site.
Nguyen was arrested and charged with practicing medicine without a license.
In court, he pled not guilty and was released on his own personal recognizance. As a part of his release, he was told he is not allowed to practice medicine or withdraw blood.
Nguyen did not speak with reporters following the hearing. His lawyer did speak, but said he did not know why Nguyen was allegedly withdrawing the blood or what he intended to do with it.