A former Wyoming resident pleaded not guilty to charges in the prescription drug conspiracy case involving a Casper doctor and his wife, according to federal court records.

Paul Beland entered his plea during his arraignment before U.S. District Court Judge Alan Johnson in Cheyenne on Wednesday.

Beland is charged with one count of conspiracy to dispense and distribute oxycodone and alprazolam, three counts of possession with intent to distribute oxycodone and aid and abet, and two counts of use of a communication facility to commit a felony.

If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 20 years imprisonment.

Beland was an early target of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's investigation of Dr. Shakeel Kahn who wrote large prescriptions for controlled substances, according to an affidavit filed about him on Nov. 9.

From January through August 2016, Kahn and his wife, Lyn, received wire transfers totaling $9,750 from Beland, who wired them from where he lived in 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.

In November, Beland was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in Massachusetts in November, and his case was transferred to Wyoming. A federal judge there transferred his case to Wyoming. He is in custody pending trial, which is scheduled to begin in Cheyenne on March 27.

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