Judge Sentences Prescription Drug Conspiracy Defendant
Two defendants in a local drug conspiracy case appeared in Natrona County District Court on Wednesday -- one for a sentencing and one for a probation revocation hearing.
Roxanne Hagen and Melissa Bishop pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges related to the alleged multi-state prescription drug conspiracy organized by former Casper Dr. Shakeel Kahn.
Tuesday, Judge Daniel Forgey sentenced Hagen to an 18- to 24-month suspended prison sentence and two years of probation for one felony count of conspiracy to deliver a Schedule IV drug -- alprazolam, the generic name for Xanax used for treatment for anxiety disorders.
Hagen did not make a statement.
If her case had gone to trial and she was convicted, Hagan could have faced up to two years of imprisonment.
Bishop appeared before Judge Catherine Wilking on a petition to revoke her probation.
On Nov. 22, 2016, Bishop was placed on probation for one to five years after she pleaded guilty to check forgery, according to court documents.
In April, she violated the terms of her probation and she was given a suspended three- to five-year prison sentence on the condition she successfully complete a three-year term of supervised probation.
A term of her probation states, "the defendant shall not violate any local, state or federal law."
On Oct. 18, Bishop pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver a Schedule II controlled substance, in this case oxycodone.
She also pleaded to conspiracy to deliver a controlled substance, heroin.
Committing those crimes in the drug conspiracy case, according to her probation and parole agent, meant that Bishop violated her probation in the forgery case.
However, Assistant District Attorney Dan Itzen asked, and Wilking granted, his request to hold the hearing at a later date because a person scheduled to testify was not available.
Bishop's attorney, Jon Foreman, said he wanted to contest the state's request to revoke her probation.
Bishop remains in custody pending sentencing in the prescription drug conspiracy case, he said.
Foreman questioned the timing of some of the state's actions related to the forgery and drug conspiracy cases, Foreman said.
Local, state and federal agencies discovered Hagen and other defendants during the investigation of Kahn and his wife, Lyn, who are charged in federal court with multiple counts, according to court records.
The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation says the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating Kahn in last year after reports he was prescribing abnormally excessive amounts of controlled substances, mostly opiates, in Natrona County. The DEA found people would travel from Fremont County and as far away as Massachusetts to obtain prescriptions for $500 in cash.
As the DEA's investigation progressed, the DCI learned from a patient of Kahn that people would pay $500 in cash a month to him for whatever prescription they wanted, as long as they signed a contract stating they were not wearing a wire, working with law enforcement, and promising to never call the doctor a drug dealer.
The Kahns themselves were arrested at their home in Casper on Nov. 30.
They and other defendants remain in custody awaiting trial in federal court next year.