California Doctors Guilty of Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
Hollywood, California is known as being a place where you can get what you want when you want it. Prescription pill abuse is very common, which many believe is attributed to doctors supplying prescriptions to those without a medical need for them. James William Eisenberg, a 72-year-old former doctor from West Hollywood, recently found out that writing questionable prescriptions may have earned him an all-inclusive retirement at a California state prison.
According to authorities, Eisenberg has been stocking up on prescription pads for quite some time. While working in a medical marijuana clinic in Arizona, authorities claim that Eisenberg wrote several prescriptions for controlled substances that were outside the scope of professional practice. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ordered Eisenberg to stop and his license was revoked, but Eisenberg was not ready to slow down.
Authorities allege that he continued to write prescriptions between December of 2011 and February of 2013 in West Hollywood California. Authorities finally caught up with him and he has recently pleaded guilty for federal drug trafficking charges.
California Doctors Pushing Pills
Eisenberg isn’t the first Doctor to find ways to make additional income. Instances of California physicians writing questionable subscriptions for controlled substances are quite common. At least in Eisenberg’s case, no one has come forward to blame him for the deaths of their loved ones, a distinction that “candy man??? Julio Gabriel Diaz knows all too well.
Julio Gabriel Diaz had developed quite a following for himself and his Santa Barbara office. Patients reportedly travelled hundreds of miles to utilize his services, for which few other medical facilities were willing to provide. Diaz was interviewed by the Santa Barbara police department in connection with one of his patient’s deaths in 2009, and his colleagues reportedly notified the police of what appeared to be illegal prescription writing practices, but it took several years for the hammer to fall.
Diaz was arrested on federal drug trafficking charges for allegedly trafficking large quantities of prescription pain pills. Authorities say that one of Diaz’ patients was prescribed more than 2,000 pills in the six weeks leading up to his death. Diaz’ colleagues allege that there are several more patients who were abusing medications under Diaz’ care and that the amount of time it took for his arrest was very surprising.
Dr. Chris Lambert, an emergency physician who had contact with Diaz on numerous occasions, found the amount of time that Diaz was allowed to operate alarming. “I don’t really understand what happened there???. “Physicians these days get censured for bad record keeping???. “What happened in this case? How did it slide along???.
Doctor Lambert claims that complaints by physicians about Diaz’ patient care date back nearly 15 years prior to his arrest date. He also claimed that Diaz’ patients visited the emergency room more than 400 times in a single year and that some had been provided with large amounts of narcotics.
Diaz is just one of more than 230 doctors to have been charged with federal drug trafficking counts relating to prescription pill drug abuse since 2003. With all of the procedures put in place to stop doctors like Diaz from distributing controlled substances, why do violations that appear to be obvious go on for so long? How does the justice system view these types of offenses?
Benefit of the Doubt
In all reality, only a fraction of doctors are writing prescriptions for people who do not need them. Becoming a doctor takes years of hard work and dedication that is rarely thrown away due to an interest in immediate financial gain. Also, to accuse a doctor of writing questionable prescriptions can ruin their career, even if they are found innocent of the charges brought against them. Doctors who are suspected of drug trafficking can be investigated for several years before authorities file charges.
Doctors who are accused of drug trafficking are not always guilty. Prescription drug abuse deaths are higher now than ever before putting many doctors under investigation. I encourage those who are arrested or accused of drug trafficking to contact an experienced drug crime attorney as soon as possible. A good attorney can evaluate the ways in which authorities obtain evidence and may be able to use their mistakes to have your case thrown out.