Casper Woman Imprisoned For Her Role In Local Prescription Drug Ring
A Casper woman was sentenced to prison on Friday for her role as a leader of a local prescription drug conspiracy that's related to the federal case of a multi-state conspiracy allegedly organized by a former Casper doctor.
Judge Daniel Forgey sentenced Melissa Bishop to two concurrent two-and-a-half- to five-year terms on one count of conspiracy to distribute the Schedule II drug oxycodone and one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.
After the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Trevor Schenk said Bishop was already on probation for another felony when she was obtaining prescription drugs from Shakeel Kahn and traveling to Colorado to obtain heroin.
Bishop is among 15 defendants charged last year in a four-count indictment. Ten of those defendants, including her, were arrested soon after the indictment was filed. Two more defendants have been arrested and made recent court appearances. Three more have yet to be arrested.
Wednesday, Bishop's co-defendant and former boyfriend Charles Edwards was sentenced to two concurrent four- to seven-year prison terms on one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and one count of conspiracy to distribute heroin.
Local, state and federal agencies discovered the defendants during the investigation of Kahn, his wife, Lyn, Kahn's brother Nabeel "Sonny" Khan (sometimes spelled Kahn) and Paul Beland, who are charged in federal court with multiple counts, according to Natrona County Circuit Court and federal court records.
In November, federal prosecutors added a charge of "Conspiracy to Dispense & Distribute Oxycodone, Alprazolam, Hydromorphone & Carisoprodol Resulting in Death." Another defendant, Shawnna Thacker of Arizona, was charged, and she pleaded not guilty during her arraignment Thursday.
Shakeel and Lyn Kahn dealt with customers who paid them $500 in cash for a prescription. Customers often would resell the drugs, according to federal and state court records.
In the local case, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation learned Bishop was a key contact and supplier for other defendants, according to an affidavit accompanying the indictment filed in Natrona County Circuit Court on May 19.
The DCI obtained a wiretap from a Circuit Court judge to monitor Bishop's phone, which also was used by Edwards.
The DCI also surveiled Kahn's now former office on Fenway, where Bishop was a patient, and the now-closed smoke shop Vape World on 12th Street operated by Kahn's stepchildren.
Bishop was observed meeting one of the children at Vape World and obtaining prescriptions there.
She and Edwards also would drive to the Denver area to obtain heroin for their own use and to sell in the Casper area, according to the affidavit.