Federal Judge Sentences Two Defendants in Former Casper Doctor Drug Case
Two defendants who pleaded guilty to crimes in a multi-state drug conspiracy led by a former Casper doctor did not receive any prison time, according to the sentences handed down in federal court on Friday.
U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson in separate hearings sentenced Shawnna Thacker and Paul Beland each to time served to be followed by three years of supervised probation, and ordered them to pay $100 and $300 special assessments respectively.
Beland was an early target of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's investigation and the first defendant charged by the Wyoming U.S. Attorney's Office in the case of former Casper Dr. Shakeel Kahn and his brother Nabeel Kahn. They were found guilty of multiple counts of drug distribution, firearms and other charges on May 24 after a month-long trial in federal court in Casper.
From January through August 2016, Shakeel Kahn and his wife, Lyn, received wire transfers totaling $9,750 from Beland, who wired them from where he lived in Massachusetts, according to an affidavit. “Investigators subsequently conducted an analysis of Beland’s phone records and discovered that Beland is also linked to a heroin supplier in Massachusetts which DEA is currently investigating.”
On Nov. 9, 2016, Beland was charged in Massachusetts with one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and aprazolam, and his case was transferred to Wyoming.
Shakeel Kahn and his wife Lyn were arrested on Nov. 30, 2016, and likewise each charged with the conspiracy charge.
The three were named in the first indictment filed on Jan. 12, 2017.
In that indictment, Beland was charged with the conspiracy count, three counts of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and aid and abet, and two counts of unlawful use of a communication facility.
In March 2018, he pleaded guilty to the drug conspiracy count and to two counts of unlawful use of a communication facility. As part of the plea deal, the government dismissed the three possession-with-intent-to-distribute counts. Beland also agreed to testify during the trial of the Kahns.
Beland could have faced up to 28 years imprisonment, and three years to lifetime probation.
Instead, Johnson sentenced him to time served, which was about two years seven months from the time of his arrest in Massachusetts in November 2016 to about the time of the Kahns' trial, according to court records and Wyoming U.S. Attorney Office spokesman Mark Trimble.
Thacker was named as a defendant in the second superseding indictment filed in November 2017. She was charged with a sole count of "conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, alprazolam, hydromorphone and carisoprodol." The original charge was distributing one or more of these drugs resulting in death, but that enhancement was dismissed.
Thacker would obtain prescriptions from Shakeel Kahn in Arizona where he had an office. She also would travel to Casper for prescriptions and have them filled in local pharmacies, according to court records.
Thacker pleaded guilty on April 12, two weeks before the trial began on April 25.
She could have faced up to 20 years of imprisonment, but Johnson credited her with time served, which was about 10 days in jail, Trimble said.
Lyn Kahn pleaded guilty to the main conspiracy count the day before the trial started. Her sentencing is scheduled for July 3 in Cheyenne.
Shakeel and Nabeel Kahn are scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 1.