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Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon Paul Holden Accused of Stealing "Medicinal Cocaine"

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon Paul Holden Accused of Stealing "Medicinal Cocaine"
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A Scottsdale plastic surgeon was caught stealing vials of "medicinal cocaine" after breaking into a neighboring surgical business in the middle of the night, police say.

Dr. Paul Holden, of Holden Facial Plastic Surgery, picked a bad time to make his run for the cocaine, as he ran into a woman cleaning the surgery business, according to court documents obtained by New Times.

The cleaning woman turned off all the lights and was preparing to leave the North Valley Surgical Center around 1 a.m. on July 9, when she realized she'd forgotten to clean one piece of equipment.

She went back down a main hallway, and screamed and ran away after seeing a man ducking behind a rack of shelves outside the pharmacy room.

Holden, who was wearing a lab coat, chased down the woman and assured her that there was nothing unusual going on. Holden pulled out a key and entered the pharmacy, and left with the cleaning woman -- who was able to reset the surgery suite's alarm.

When employees conducted an inventory on the pharmacy the following morning, they noticed five boxes missing. Each of those boxes contained one 4-milliliter vial of cocaine solution. Employees also noticed that the lock on the case holding the cocaine vials had been broken.

Holden was identified from video surveillance footage. Employees said Holden used to be allowed to perform surgeries in their facility, but "his access was withdrawn after an incident in 2012," according to court documents.

The documents say Holden's ban from the North Valley Surgical Center was "well understood."

The cleaning woman also told police that there was what appeared to be an expensive red car with "rims" in the parking lot when she'd left the night before, that wasn't in the parking lot when she got there.

That vehicle was identified as a red Tesla Model S -- a fairly uncommon vehicle. Holden happens to own one.

The cleaning woman was able to identify Holden from a photo lineup, according to court documents.

Holden later got into contact with an employee of the surgical center and asked if the cops' case against him was a "slam dunk," the documents state. Holden was arrested on July 11, while driving his red Tesla on Scottsdale Road, through Old Town Scottsdale.

Holden invoked his right to an attorney, but court documents indicate Holden had a previous run-in with Scottsdale PD.

While police were investigating a domestic-violence incident between Holden and his wife in May 2012, Holden "fled the residence in his vehicle, making suicidal statements and holding a loaded handgun up to his head, threatening to kill himself," documents state.

Holden barricaded himself in his plastic-surgery business, and the building had to be evacuated until was arrested.

Court documents indicate those charges were dismissed after he agreed to complete a diversion program.

In this case, Holden was booked into jail on a felony burglary charge.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.



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