Arizona Woman Pleads Guilty in Former Casper Doctor Opioid Conspiracy
An Arizona woman pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to a charge of conspiracy to distribute a prescription drug, obtained from former Casper doctor Shakeel Kahn who goes on trial in two weeks for running a multi-state prescription drug conspiracy.
Shawnna Thacker entered the plea before U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson in Cheyenne, according to minutes from the hearing.
Thacker 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.
She was arrested in November 2017 and pleaded not guilty in February 2018.
The minutes of the plea hearing did not specify the terms of the plea.
She could face up to 20 years in prison at her sentencing, which is scheduled for June 20.
According to the second superseding indictment in November 2017, Thacker would obtain prescriptions for controlled substances 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.
Another Arizona woman, Jessica Burch, obtained some of these drugs and died overdosed and died in March 2015. After that, Shakeel Kahn's wife Lyn altered the medical records related to these prescription, according to the indictment.
Thacker is the second defendant defendant in the case to plead guilty.
Paul Beland pleaded guilty in March 2018 to the same charge to which Thacker pleaded guilty, and to two counts of unlawful use of a communication facility. Beland's sentencing date has yet to be set
The three defendants scheduled for trial starting April 25 in Casper are Shakeel Kahn, his wife Lyn, and his brother Nabeel "Sonny" Kahn.
Some or all defendants face more than 20 counts including conspiracy to distribute, possessing and dispensing oxycodone and other prescription opioids; conspiracy to distribute certain prescription drugs resulting in death; possession or use of firearms during a drug crime; unlawful use of communications devices; and money laundering.
Shakeel Kahn also is charged with operating a continuing criminal enterprise, which upon conviction is punishable by a minimum of 20 years of imprisonment, according to court records.
Court documents say they dealt with customers who paid them $500 in cash for a prescription. Customers often would resell the drugs.