Tainted IVs | Ortiz to Seek Release on Friday

IV | Image by Numstocker

In a bid to prevent his release from detention, federal prosecutors filed a motion on Wednesday arguing that the disgraced criminal anesthesiologist Dr. Raynaldo Ortiz is too dangerous to be let out of jail while awaiting trial.

Ortiz had been indicted on ten felony counts related to his alleged intentional doping of IV bags with nerve-blocking and bronchodilation drugs that allegedly caused several medical emergencies and one death.

He moved to secure his release earlier this month, arguing to a federal judge that he was not a danger to the community or a flight risk, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.

However, in the court papers filed on Wednesday, prosecutors claimed that Ortiz used his medical knowledge and years of experience to commit “conscience-shocking, heinous crimes in which he
indiscriminately poisoned patients at a medical center where he worked.”

The motion referenced Ortiz’s past criminal history, which included the shooting of a former neighbor’s dog and multiple arrests for domestic violence that did not result in convictions.

Prosecutors also cited his “disciplinary history both with the Texas Medical Board and with medical facilities at which he has been employed.”

The Texas Medical Board suspended Ortiz’s license on September 9, five days before he was arrested, calling him a “continuing threat to public welfare.”

Still, even without a license to practice medicine, prosecutors alleged that Ortiz would be a threat to witnesses if he were to be released.

Federal investigators had interviewed staff at Baylor Scott & White Surgicare North Dallas, where he allegedly doped the IV bags, as well as other facilities where he previously worked. A number of his former coworkers “expressed concerns about Ortiz retaliating against them if they cooperated with [the] investigation,” according to the prosecutors’ motion.

The motion stated further that “a medical license is not required to poison people or retaliate against witnesses — and Ortiz has proven that he is proficient at doing both.”

The prosecutors cited the shooting of his former neighbor’s dog, which they claim he did in retaliation for that former neighbor testifying against him in a domestic violence case.

The motion further described Ortiz as erratic and combative with his coworkers. He allegedly participated in numerous “intense” verbal altercations, one of which got physical at Dallas Regional Medical Center, where Ortiz “injected anesthesia drugs into a patient while he knew that security personnel were attempting to remove him.”

“There is no way to mitigate against the risk of Ortiz resuming and escalating these types of behaviors given his current situation,” the motion claimed, “and the overwhelming evidence indicates that witnesses are fearful of what Ortiz will do upon release.”

Ortiz, who pleaded not guilty back in October, has since publicly denied all wrongdoing and claimed he was somehow being set up.

In a jailhouse interview with WFAA, Ortiz claimed he had good reason to be handling IV bags in the hallway outside of the Surgicare’s operating rooms. He was seen placing them in the bag warmer, which was captured several times on surveillance footage.

Prosecutors alleged that, on several occasions, after an IV bag that Ortiz placed in the bag warmer was administered, the patient suffered a cardiac event. The bags were subsequently tested for adulteration and were discovered to contain nerve-blocking agents.

“All that stuff that they said was a lie,” Ortiz told WFAA. “I’ve had no lawsuits, no malpractice in 29 years, not one.”

Ortiz is being held at the Limestone County Detention Center. He was transported to Dallas County on Thursday, where a judge will hear the dueling motions at a hearing set for Friday, November 18.

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