A former physician dubbed the “Candy Man” for writing illegal prescriptions for a high volume of narcotics for his patients, including one who died, was again sentenced to 27 years in federal prison, his attorney said Tuesday.
Julio Gabriel Diaz, 69, was sentenced in December 2015 to 327 months behind bars. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the sentence in December based on an error in evidence allowed in his trial and ordered another sentencing.
U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney handed down the same sentence on Monday, the defendant’s attorney, Kate Corrigan, said.
At Monday’s hearing, Diaz expressed “deep regret” for his “unprofessional conduct” Corrigan said.
Diaz said he now sees “the dark side of the abuse of narcotics,” Corrigan said.
“He hopes to help in turning the tide of the abuse of opiates and to get the message out to parents, children and others that opiates can lead to a path of destruction in their lives,” Corrigan said.
Diaz has worked with fellow inmates “providing them with counseling and education,” Corrigan said.
Corrigan said Diaz has “earned about 60 certificates while in prison” and is “trying to redeem himself and right the wrong in any way that he can.”
Diaz was convicted in August 2015 of 79 counts of writing medically unnecessary prescriptions for narcotic painkillers and sedatives for nine patients, including the one who died.
Diaz had struck a plea deal in January 2014, but he fought for the right to withdraw it when it became clear he would not get probation as he believed he would and that prosecutors planned to argue for a 14-year sentence.
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