McALLEN — Jorge Zamora-Quezada, the doctor facing federal charges of healthcare fraud, was again held without bond Tuesday, a decision his defense attorney quipped is usually reserved for the likes of drug lords.

McALLEN — Jorge Zamora-Quezada, the doctor facing federal charges of healthcare fraud, was again held without bond Tuesday, a decision his defense attorney quipped is usually reserved for the likes of drug lords.

Zamora-Quezada, a rheumatologist who is alleged to have misdiagnosed and mistreated patients in a scheme to defraud health insurers, was first ordered detained pending trial earlier this month by U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby.

Ormsby said he based his ruling on the severity of the case and the possible penalties the doctor would face if he were found guilty, doubting whether other conditions of supervision would be adequate to ensure Zamora-Quezada would appear in court.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, who will be presiding over the case, said he agreed with the factors that Ormsby considered, which were that the doctor has family, money and property in Mexico. Among the properties are two luxury penthouse apartments in Mexico — one in Puerto Vallarta and the other a condominium in Punta Mita — which prosecutors admitted Tuesday he only partly owns.

Hinojosa also noted that Zamora-Quezada holds Mexican citizenship and is married to a Mexican citizen.

Among the charges listed in the seven-count indictment unsealed earlier this month, Zamora Quezada faces one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, five counts of healthcare fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In making the case to continue holding him without bond, the government attorney said they had four witnesses who previously worked with the doctor who would testify they believed him to be a flight risk.

Defense attorney J.A. Tony Canales, however, argued that he couldn’t effectively defend his client given that the doctor is being held at the East Hidalgo Detention Center in La Villa and the large number of patient files they would have to review.

“He needs to be able to be free to handle this case,” Canales said, arguing that denying him bond places the doctor with the likes of the notorious drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

“Only people who were not granted bond are El Chapo and the doctor,” the defense attorney added, noting that even Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman currently under federal indictment, was granted bond.

However, the judge pointed out the medical files were electronic and would not be difficult to access regardless of whether it was at the detention center, his office or his home.

“I don’t think this is going to prevent you from defending your client,” Hinojosa said.

In discussing the weight of the evidence against Zamora-Quezada, the U.S. attorney said former patients who would be willing to testify they learned they were misdiagnosed by him after seeking a second opinion.

But Canales said he had the medical records of three patients, which he claimed confirmed they had rheumatoid arthritis. The witness who would be able to testify to the lab reports, he said, was Zamora-Quezada’s own son.

Those patients came forward after news broke of Zamora-Quezada’s indictment and were not part of the basis for the government’s case against him.

The prosecution also said federal agents interviewed five rheumatologists who agreed that some of his patients were misdiagnosed.

After the hearing, however, Canales asserted that every patient had lab tests confirming Zamora-Quezada’s diagnosis.

“Every patient has had lab analyses,” he said. “(They) have lab tests confirming they had rheumatoid arthritis.”

When asked to comment on the other rheumatologists who claim his patients were misdiagnosed, Canales said he didn’t know anything about them or who they were.

“You cannot try a case by issuing press releases,” he said, referring to news releases issued by the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the case and the people who have come forward since then. “It’s a mob mentality.”