A Tampa orthodontist whose patients accused him of abandoning them when his practice suddenly closed has been found in the Pinellas County jail, jail records show.
Manuel Alejandro Gutierrez-Rodriguez — who goes by “Alex” — was arrested March 24 on a charge that he violated his probation stemming from a 2022 conviction for reckless driving, according to court documents. He was initially charged in the 2022 case with a DUI.
The 47-year-old orthodontist had a warrant for his arrest signed on Feb. 7, court records show. That warrant said his “whereabouts are unknown.”
His probation was set to last a year. He violated the conditions of his probation in January when he did not report for a probation appointment, according to the warrant.
Jail records show Gutierrez was being held without bail on Friday evening.
The Tampa Bay Times previously reported patients paid Gutierrez thousands of dollars for treatments, including braces and aligners at the practice he owns, Gutierrez Orthodontics in north Tampa.
But after making payments, some patients said they were unable to reach Gutierrez, the Times reported.
One patient, Carlos Jimenez, said he paid $5,200 for Invisalign, a teeth-aligner custom fit to each person. He received the aligners in July, but never saw Gutierrez afterward, the Times reported.
“When I called him, his assistants gave me excuses,” said Jimenez. “Sometimes they told me that they didn’t have the proper materials or the distributors were late with the orders.”
More than a dozen patients have organized on WhatsApp and Facebook to get officials’ attention and get their money back.