A husband and wife accused of heading a multi-state prescription drug conspiracy waived their preliminary hearings in federal court in Casper on Wednesday.

Dr. Shakeel and Lyn Kahn declined to have an agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration present its case why they were charged in a criminal complaint with prescribing oxycodone during the hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Shickich.

The Kahns were arrested at their home on Thorndike Avenue by Casper police officers and agents with the DEA on Nov. 30.

The case started in April when the Wyoming State Board of Pharmacy asked the DEA to investigate Kahn, who was issuing large prescriptions for controlled substances under DEA licenses in Arizona and Wyoming, according to court documents.

Many of the people who obtained prescriptions from Kahn paid him $500 per prescription, according to court documents.

If convicted of the single charge of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, they face up to 20 years imprisonment and up to a $1 million fine.

On Dec. 2, they heard this charge at their initial appearances before U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl. The judge agreed with Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Sprecher and their temporary defense attorney Tom Smith to release them under certain conditions.

As part of the conditions of his release, Skavdahl ordered Shakeel Kahn to pledge his house in Fort Mohave, Ariz., as bond.

On Wednesday, however, Kahn's attorney Smith asked Shickich to release the Fort Mohave house as a pledge for bond, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the federal government cannot seize an asset that may not have been used in a criminal enterprise.

Instead, the Kahns want to use the house as collateral to hire their own defense counsel, Smith said.

Shickich responded saying that the judge who sets the terms of release is usually the judge that amends the terms of release. He told the defendants and attorneys he would look into the matter and make a decision soon.

Shickich also told them to fill out the paperwork to be represented by a federal public defender.

The next step in the case will occur in January when Sprecher presents the government's case to a federal grand jury to show probable cause exists that the Kahns engaged in a prescription drug conspiracy, and that the grand jury should indict them.

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