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Buttocks injections send Ga. woman to prison for 3 years

An Atlanta woman is going to federal prison for injecting the buttocks of women across the country with silicone intended to be used as a paint additive or furniture polish, with one procedure causing serious injuries to a Baltimore exotic dancer.

The New York Post reported in 2008 that Kimberly D. Smedley was performing the illegal operations in Manhattan hotel rooms. Smedley was charged in November after a Baltimore stripper came forward saying that an injection performed in a downtown hotel nearly killed her.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake sentenced Smedley, 46, to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. She pleaded guilty in March.

"Kimberly Smedley endangered her customers' lives by injecting them with commercial silicone, causing at least one victim to suffer lung damage from a substance not approved by the Food and Drug Administration," Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement. "No one should undergo medical procedures in a hotel room."

Federal prosecutors said Smedley's illegal business dated to 2003, and that she traveled to Washington, Detroit, Philadelphia and other cities armed with water jugs full of silicone. She used glue with cotton balls to cover the point of injection, hoping to prevent the silicone from leaking out, prosecutors said.

For each job, she was paid between $500 and $1,600, making more than $200,000, prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday. According to the website The Smoking Gun, prosecutors had earlier estimated that she made at least $1.3 million.

A man named Martin Freeman, whom prosecutors say Smedley paid to provide security at the hotel rooms where the injections took place, has also pleaded guilty and could receive a maximum sentence of five years in prison at his sentencing July 19.

The Baltimore dancer said she met "Kim" at a club on The Block, Baltimore's strip-club district. During a treatment in March 2011, the woman paid $1,000 for each injection and later became ill. Doctors found that the silicone had spread from her hips and buttocks to her lungs, according to records.

Agents reviewed Smedley's bank accounts and believed she may have purchased the silicone from stores like Lowe's and Home Depot. From one store alone, prosecutors said, she ordered more than 4,900 pounds of silicone — at a cost of more than $20,000.

jfenton@baltsun.com

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