SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A physician with clinics in Georgia, including one in Pooler, has been sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for prescribing narcotics to non-patients.
According to Bobby Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, Dr. Johnny Di Blasi, 46, of Braselton, Georgia, has been sentenced to 33 months in prison. He pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Unlawfully Dispense Controlled Substances (Oxycodone).
Christine says Di Blasi has been in custody since Christmas Eve when he tried to flee the country. The doctor was arrested at Miami International Airport before boarding a flight to Colombia.
The U.S. Attorney says Di Blasi’s illegal practices took place for more than a year:
Di Blasi, known as “Dr. Johnny,” admitted writing prescriptions for narcotics, including opioids and amphetamines, to non-patients – many of whom he never met.
Di Blasi wrote the prescriptions through clinics he operated in Pooler, Ga., and Braselton, Ga., to individuals traveling from at least 11 states.
In addition, Di Blasi also provided and sold prescriptions for opioid pain medications and amphetamines to non-patients he met in restaurants and bars.
One of those receiving prescriptions was an individual who was in prison at the time the prescription was written.
The Drug Enforcement Administration launched its investigation in March 2018. Multiple agencies, including the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team, assisted.
“There are a lot of good doctors who take their medical oath seriously. Sadly, Dr. Di Blasi opted to go against his, which in turn continues furthering the opioid crisis,” CNT Director Everett Ragan stated. “His arrest is a prime example that we will seek all drug dealers no matter if they wear a white coat or what their day job or title is.”