(Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.)
A judge has ruled that Dr. Howard Gregg Diamond won’t be getting out of jail to await his day in federal court.
Diamond was arrested earlier this month on charges that include conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, money laundering and abetting, distribution of controlled substances and health care fraud, and aiding and abetting. The charges also link Diamond’s prescriptions to the overdose deaths of seven people. Diamond pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Judge Christine Nowak ruled Monday that Diamond’s attorney Peter Schulte didn’t rebut the government’s presumption that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure that Diamond would appear in court as required and assure the safety of the community because there is probable cause to believe that Diamond committed an offense for which he could be sentenced to prison for 10 years or more.
The Associated Press reported that the overdose deaths occurred in three Texas cities — Abilene, McKinney and Sulphur Springs. Deaths mentioned in the indictment also occurred in four Oklahoma cities — Ardmore, Hugo, Idabel and Yukon.
Last week, the Texas Medical Board suspended his medical license, at least temporarily.
Nowak’s decision came on the same day that Diamond’s family attended the funeral of his step-daughter Mikayla Maree Mitchell who was found dead in Dallas on July 16. The Dallas Police Department said her death was due to homicidal violence but did not release any further details. Her death has not been connected to Diamond’s arrest by any law enforcement agency.
Diamond’s prescribing of opioids outpaced every other Texas doctor save one in 2014, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
CMS data shows that Diamond’s opioid claim count was 11,035 in 2014.
“The claim count is the number of Medicare Part D opioid drug claims, including original prescriptions and refills,” CMS says.
Diamond ranked 24th in the nation, according to the 2014 CMS data.
The federal court’s records website currently shows that Diamond will go to trial in early September. That could change as the case moves forward.