A Lake Milton doctor has pleaded "not guilty" to charges levied in a superseding federal indictment handed up last week.

Dr. Martin Escobar appeared in U.S. District Court on Thursday to answer 86 charges which include maintaining drug-involved premises, and multiple counts of health care fraud, and illegal distribution of controlled substances.

The latest indictment is based on information from 22 patients, which is an increase from the 9 patients listed on the earlier indictment issued in May of last year.

The additional patients came following Escobar’s arrest in 2019 when anyone who believed they were harmed because of Escobar’s alleged criminal conduct was asked to contact the FBI.

The indictment includes two “enhanced penalty” instances of overdose deaths allegedly caused by painkillers prescribed by Escobar.

The FBI says Escobar prescribed controlled substances such as oxycodone and hydrocodone and benzodiazepines such as lorazepam and alprazolam without legitimate medical purposes.

Escobar allegedly used false diagnoses to prescribe controlled substances, falsified patient pain levels in medical charts, and ignoring the results of patients' urine drug screens.

A federal complaint alleges that Escobar tested the urine of patients for the presence of controlled substances that he prescribed and billed the government for these tests.

The FBI says Dr. Escobar ignored the test results of certain patients, which repeatedly indicated the absence of prescribed drugs in the urine of the tested patients. That, according to investigators, suggested the patients were abusing the drugs or diverting them on the street.

Even so, investigators say Escobar continued to issue prescriptions to these patients and bill the government for the tests.

According to state records, in November Dr. Escobar surrendered his Drug Enforcement Administration Registration Numbers for the states of Ohio, Michigan, and West Virginia as a condition for his release from custody while his criminal case proceeded through the legal system.