Prescription Drug Investigation Started With Former Casper, Cheyenne Resident
The federal investigation and arrest of a Casper doctor's alleged prescription drug conspiracy started with a focus on a former Wyoming resident named Paul Beland, according to court documents.
In April, the Wyoming Board of Pharmacy had asked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to investigate Dr. Shakeel Kahn because of his large prescriptions of controlled substances.
Investigators found Kahn and his wife, Lyn, received wire transfers totaling $34,140 from patients from January through August 2016, according to a DEA affidavit.
Of that total, Beland sent them $9,750 in multiple monthly transfers of usually $500 each from Massachusetts, according to the 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."
Investigators also learned Beland recruited people from his family and referred them to Kahn, and he would fly from Massachusetts to Casper to obtain prescriptions of controlled substances from Kahn.
On Sept. 2, he flew to Casper, picked up three prescriptions at Smith's Grocery Store and Pharmacy for 300 Oxycodone 30 milligram tablets, 180 Oxycodone 20mg, and 120 Methadone 10mg. (The street value of the semi-synthetic opioid oxycodone is about $1 per mg, but that varies on market conditions.)
Surveillance units followed Beland to the Albertson's parking lot on CY Avenue where he picked up his wife Dawn. Investigators later determined it was a rental from the Casper-Natrona County International Airport.
Four weeks later, the Belands returned to Casper, rented a car and went to a hotel. A DEA agent obtained warrants and placed a tracking device on their vehicle.
On Oct. 1, Beland filled two prescriptions -- 300 Oxycodone 30mg and 120 Methadone 10mg -- issued by Kahn. Beland also had a prescription for 180 Oxycodone 20mg, but Smith's refused to fill it, so he filled it at a pharmacy in Gillette instead.
The next day, he was arrested at the airport on an outstanding warrant for a probation violation in Wyoming.
Beland was on probation after pleading guilty to forgery in Laramie County District Court in January 2015. However, he absconded from probation in September 2015, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Before he lived in Laramie County, Beland lived in Natrona County where he was convicted of aggravated robbery.
After his arrest in October, he was released on bond from the Laramie County Circuit Court and returned to his home in south central Massachusetts.
He was scheduled to appear for a probation revocation hearing in Cheyenne in November.
Meanwhile, federal agents arrested him and charged him in federal court in Massachusetts with one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone.
A federal judge in Massachusetts transferred the case to Wyoming. Beland is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.