“Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic levels – in 2010, about 12 million Americans reported non-medical use of prescription painkillers.” (Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent)
In the city of Santa Barbara an MD has been found guilty in U.S. District Court on 79 felony drug trafficking charges. The U.S. Department of Justice reports that the doctor/convict would routinely write narcotic prescriptions for so-called “patients,” a large number of whom were drug addicts. Some of them overdosed and died.
Doctor Julio Gabriel Diaz, age 67, who lived in Goleta, operated The Family Medical Clinic in Santa Barbara. He was well-known in town among drug abusers as the “Candyman” – the “go-to” prescription drug dealer for high-dose addictive drugs.
Diaz was arrested in this case in January 2012.
Investigators discovered, for example, that in the year 2011 alone, Diaz wrote prescriptions for more than 1,500,000 doses of narcotics – 500 or more doses per day. The so-called “patients” always paid cash and often waited hours at a time for a visit with Diaz that would take no more than several minutes. They would then walk out with prescriptions for the most dangerous of drugs, such as muscle relaxants, opioids and anti-anxiety medications. During the trial, the prosecution called several other doctors to testify that no other physician they were aware of, would prescribe the combination and quantity of medications, as was being done on a daily basis by Diaz.
Two dozen of the 79 charges against Diaz were as the result of his pushing OxyContin; 10 of the charges were for methadone; seven for Dilaudid prescriptions, 10 related to fentanyl, 11 for Vicodin and Norco), 10 more for Xanax. Five charges referred to drug distributions to minors.
Evidence presented at trial by nurses, doctors and pharmacists from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital showed that numerous medical professionals joined together in a detailed report to the California State Medical Board. They then testified to investigators in a group complaint, believing that Diaz posed a serious a threat to public safety. They documented visits by patients who had been prescribed narcotics by Diaz to the ER when in distress.
It was obvious to the jury that Diaz was in the business of pushing drugs for profit only and with no real medical purpose.
Daffy Doc Diaz now faces the entirely ridiculous sentence of more than 1,000 years behind bars. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney in December.
Here is another look at this case: