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Federal Judge Denies Bail for Santa Barbara Doctor Accused of Overprescribing

Dr. Julio Diaz appears in court on prescription drug distribution charges

A Santa Barbara doctor accused of overprescribing medications was denied bail this week by a federal court judge.

Dr. Julio Diaz.
Dr. Julio Diaz (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Dr. Julio Diaz, 63, of Goleta, faces a federal criminal complaint of distribution of controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and without legitimate medical purpose.

He appeared in court Tuesday for arraignment, where he was denied bail, according to prosecutor Ann Wolf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. She said she believed the detention was appropriate.

Diaz is being represented by Ralph Rios of Rios and Associates in Pasadena.

Diaz was arrested last week at his home in the 400 block of Cannon Green Drive, and Drug Enforcement Administration agents then drove him to his office at the Family Care Clinic, 510 N. Milpas St. in Santa Barbara.

Diaz faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of the charge of illegal distribution of a controlled substance by a medical practitioner.

A 75-page DEA affidavit described the cases of dozens of Diaz’s patients, 11 of whom died from drug-related causes. The document details the lengthy investigation by the DEA, Santa Barbara police and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the affidavit, “profound” doses of drugs such as OxyContin, Fentanyl and Dilaudid were prescribed for common physical conditions such as back pain and menstrual cramps. The document says some of the patients required emergency room visits shortly after leaving Diaz’s office.

A preliminary hearing for Diaz is scheduled for 3 p.m. Jan. 19.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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