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Attorneys began selecting jurors Thursday for the trial of a Casper doctor facing federal drug conspiracy charges.

Law enforcement arrested Shakeel Kahn on Nov. 30, 2016, in his Thorndike Avenue home and days later charged him with illegally distributing prescription painkillers. Prosecutors have since alleged the doctor operated a criminal conspiracy that resulted in the overdose death of an Arizona woman.

He faces 21 felonies in the case, including a single count of conspiracy to distribute drugs resulting in death and a single count of operating a continuing criminal enterprise. A conviction on either of those crimes is punishable by between 20 years and life in prison.

His brother, Nabeel, is also defending himself against prosecutors’ allegations in the case. He faces two charges: a count of conspiracy to distribute drugs resulting in death and a count of using firearms in relation to drug trafficking.

Both Kahn brothers have pleaded not guilty.

Jury selection, which began Thursday morning from a pool of more than 80 people, was still underway by 5 p.m. Judge Alan Johnson was expected to seat a jury before concluding the day’s proceedings.

Prosecutors have indicated their case will take weeks to present and that they will call at least two of Kahn’s co-defendants — Paul Beland, of Massachusetts, and Shawnna Thacker, of Arizona — to testify. Beland and Thacker have both pleaded guilty as part of deals with the government’s lawyers.

Kahn’s wife, Lyn Kahn, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a single felony. In Thursday filings, prosecutors indicated they intend to call her to testify during the case.

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Follow crime reporter Shane Sanderson on Twitter @shanersanderson

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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