COEUR d’ALENE — A Silver Valley 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 in Coeur d’Alene.
Dr. Rafael Beier was indicted on 71 counts of conspiracy, drug distribution and distributing opiates to people under the age of 21, for writing illegal prescriptions over a three-year period between 2011 and 2014, but several of the counts were dismissed in the course of the proceedings.
At his sentencing in U.S. District Court, Beier listened quietly and without emotion as prosecutor Tracy Whelan laid out her case before U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge, outlining the amount of opiates, the number of prescriptions illegally written and the names of lives indelibly affected by Beier’s conduct.
When it came his turn to speak, Beier was brief.
“They have made me out to be a monster,” said a frail-looking Beier, 63, “And I am not.”
Beier, a highly trained physician who operated a clinic in Pinehurst, one of many out-of-the-way places he worked in rural Idaho that included Lapwai on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation, was convicted by a jury of illegally writing prescriptions to clients, including many who were under 21 years old.
During the years that authorities tracked Beier after being alerted to his activities, the estranged father of nine children often spent nights at Stateline Showgirls in Post Falls, where he was known among employees as “Dr. Psycho,” according to news reports, and began dating a 20-year-old.