Federal prosecutors said a Texas doctor wrote unnecessary prescriptions for powerful drugs that contributed to the overdose deaths of at least seven people over a four-year period.
Howard Gregg Diamond, 56, was arrested Tuesday on charges that include conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.
Prosecutors contend that Diamond began issuing prescriptions in 2010 that had no legitimate medical purpose. The prescriptions were for drugs such as hydrocodone and morphine.
Authorities said the overdose deaths occurred in McKinney; Abilene; Ardmore, Oklahoma; Yukon, Oklahoma; and elsewhere.
Diamond, based in Sherman, appeared in court Friday.
Kaylynn Curtis-Rhodes, the sister of 48-year-old victim Tammy Curtis Betterton, said Diamond needs to pay for what he's done.
"I think a lot of families, and not just our family, have suffered the loss of not prescribing medication the way it should," she said.
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Diamond could not be immediately reached by phone or email Wednesday for comment.