SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A Georgia physician with clinics in Pooler and Braselton was sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison for illegally prescribing drugs to non-patients.
According to Bobby L. Christine, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, Dr. Johnny Di Blasi, 46, of Braselton, Ga., was sentenced to 33 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully dispense controlled substances (Oxycodone).
Di Blasi had been in custody since Christmas Eve, when he was arrested at the airport in Miami as he waited to board a flight to Medellin, Colombia, in an attempt to flee prosecution.
As described in court filings and in court proceedings, 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.
Di Blasi’s illegal practices took place for more than a year, with the DEA initiating a formal investigation in March 2018.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT), with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Josephson and J. Thomas Clarkson prosecuted the case for the United States.