COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho physician who was found guilty of more than 60 counts of illegally dispensing opiates will serve 16 years in prison, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge indicted Dr. Rafael Beier in Coeur d'Alene on 71 counts of conspiracy, drug distribution and distributing opiates to people under the age of 21, for writing illegal prescriptions between 2011 and 2014.
Several of the counts were dismissed in the course of the proceedings, the Coeur d'Alene Press reported Thursday.
"They have made me out to be a monster," Beier said. "And I am not."
Beier, who was wearing yellow jail pajama pants and a white sweatshirt, seemed distracted in court as he sat beside his attorney, Stephen R. Hormel of Spokane.
Hormel pleaded to the court to take into account the traumatic brain injuries his client has suffered. The injuries made him delusional and led to his illegal drug activities, Hormel said.
Expert witnesses including Drs. Richard Adler, a forensic and clinical psychiatrist, and clinical neuropsychologist Craig Beaver testified at Beier's trial last year that the defendant's traumatic brain injury had resulted in his criminal activity, a diagnosis Lodge called, "interesting."
The defense and family asked the judge to consider a five-year sentence, citing Beier's medical record and the number of people he had served over his career.
Beier was sentenced to 192 months in prison without parole for 63 felony drug counts. It came out to less than what prosecutors had asked for and near the bottom of the federal sentencing guidelines.
Information from: Coeur d'Alene Press, http://www.cdapress.com