A California man posing as a doctor was arrested for giving a desperate cancer patient fake pills and a bag of dirt.
According to Daily Mail, the 49-year-old woman from Thousand Oaks, who identifies only as "Fern," came upon the website for the Natural Oncology Institute soon after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.
The disease eventually spread to her lungs, brain and skeleton, and traditional medication failed her. So, she drove 300 miles to meet Vincent Gammill, 69, who ran the organization.
Fern paid more than $2,000 for two days worth of what she believed to be an "alternative" treatment.
Fern told ABC7,
I stupidly mixed it up and put it in my mouth and then I said, 'Well, it's burning a little bit,' and he said, 'Good. That means it's still active.'
The pill caused Fern immense stomach pain that Gammill said meant it was taking effect.
She went to the police last month, and an investigation was launched by the Ventura County Sheriff's Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office.
The investigators found no evidence of Gammill receiving any medical training or a license to practice medicine, and his education appeared to amount to a high school diploma.
The medications he gave Fern contained expired commercial medications, empty pill capsules and soil.
Authorities then raided his office and home, and they found bottles labeled "poison" and "corrosive" next to his lab equipment.
They also discovered Mexican and Russian drugs, steroids, morphine, Ambien and approximately 25,000 prescription pills that were mostly expired.
Gammill was arrested earlier this month for practicing medicine without a license, dependent adult abuse and furnishing dangerous drugs without a license, ABC News reports.
He was bailed out of jail for $10,000 and is scheduled to appear in court on August 31.
The investigation team is now looking for others treated by Gammill.
Citations: Fake doctor charged woman with breast cancer 2000 for a bag of dirt he promised would cure her as investigators seek others he may have conned (Daily Mail), California Man Allegedly Treated Cancer Patient With Mysterious Substances (ABC News)