Last of 10 Defendants Pleads Guilty In Prescription Drug Conspiracy
The last of 10 defendants pleaded guilty Friday for her role in a state district court case related to the federal multistate prescription drug conspiracy allegedly orchestrated by a Casper doctor and his wife.
During the hearing in Natrona County District Court, Deni Antelope pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, a Schedule II drug, and one count of conspiracy to deliver a Schedule IV controlled substance Xanax.
Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk told Judge Daniel Forgey the state would recommended a suspended four- to six-year suspended sentence for the oxycodone crime and a 18- to 36-month suspended sentence for the Xanax crime.
Antelope would be placed on supervised probation, instead, Schenk said.
She told Forgey she would buy prescriptions from Dr. Shakeel Kahn and sell the pills to others who did not have prescriptions in Fremont County. In turn, she received pills as payment, she said.
Forgey said he would accept the plea deal, and would set her sentencing later.
On Sept. 22, Dustin Big Medicine -- Antelope's husband -- was the first of the 10 defendants to plead guilty in the case. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycontin, a Schedule II drug.
Defendants are charged with one, some or all of four counts: conspiracy to deliver a Schedule II controlled substance (oxycodone and oxycontin); conspiracy to deliver a Schedule IV controlled substance -- alprazolam; and two counts of conspiracy to deliver heroin.
Local, state and federal agencies discovered Antelope, Big Medicine and the other defendants during the investigation of Kahn and his wife, Lyn, who are charged in federal court with multiple counts, according to court records. Two other defendants were later charged in the federal drug conspiracy case: Paul Beland, and Kahn's brother Nabeel Khan. Their trial probably will happen next year.
Law enforcement agencies began investigating the Kahns after they received reports Shakeel Kahn 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.
The Kahns were arrested at their home in Casper on Nov. 30.
As the DEA's investigation progressed, the DCI learned people would pay $500 in cash a month for a prescription of whatever they wanted, as long as they signed a contract stating they were not wearing a wire, not working with law enforcement, and promising to never call the doctor a drug dealer.
The patient added Kahn would fax the prescriptions for patients to Vape World, 211 E. 12th St., which was operated by his stepchildren. The store is now closed.
The DCI also monitored conversations between Lyn Kahn and Deni Antelope who obtained prescriptions for opiates Antelope and Big Medicine would sell on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Defendant Amy Tomlinson will be sentenced first. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
The criminal warrant that outlined the case named five other defendants who have yet to be arrested,
After the hearing, Schenk said five other defendants named in the criminal information document have yet to be arrested and there are active extradition warrants for them.