WILBURTON, Oklahoma — A former instructor at Eastern Oklahoma State College has been charged with multiple crimes after investigators found cocaine, marijuana and a human jawbone in his on-campus apartment.
Bryan Denny, 44, of Wilburton, has been charged with distributing a controlled hazardous substance, including intentional possession, unlawful removal of a corpse, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony and possession of marijuana, according to documents filed in Choctaw Nation District Court.
Records show Denny was released from Latimer County Jail after posting $20,000 bond.
An EOSC representative said Denny had not been employed as a criminal justice instructor at the college since September 5. Denny worked for the Campus Police Department as an Auxiliary Investigator and previously served as Chief of Police for EOSC and Dean of Student Life.
EOSC Police Chief Alton Jones said in a probable cause affidavit that college employees contacted him after conducting routine security inspections of all student and residential apartments on campus. The affidavit indicates that college employees knocked on the door of Denny’s apartment several times before entering the residence.
The report says Denny began to “display nervous behavior” after being told about the routine inspection. He went into the living room and grabbed a box and a “marijuana rolling tray”, and placed the items in a bathroom drawer.
Jones said he knew Denny was a tribal citizen. So he contacted Choctaw Nation prosecutors, who told Jones to move forward with a search warrant request which Choctaw Nation District Judge Richard Branam later approved. The case falls under tribal jurisdiction following the US Supreme Court’s 2020 McGirt decision, which held that the Native tribes in eastern Oklahoma had never been disbanded, in that regarding criminal prosecution.
Officers from EOSC, Wilburton and the Choctaw Nation conducted the search warrant at Denny’s residence, where they found marijuana and paraphernalia in the living room and four small bags containing what was tested on the land for the cocaine, the affidavit states. Denny was placed under arrest for cocaine possession and transported to the Latimer County Jail.
Officers also found a “black hard plastic carrying case” on the top shelf of the linen closet which contained “what appeared to be a human jawbone with five decayed teeth”.
Denny refused to speak to investigators without a lawyer present when asked about the “artifact“.
His attorneys, from McAlester-based law firm Wagner and Lynch, issued a press release earlier this week, saying their client is “the target of a retaliatory campaign by former friends and members of the security forces. the order”. The law firm said tribal prosecutors “have decided to join this campaign to destroy the reputation of a good man by filing charges they know are unprovable.”
Denny’s attorneys said their client was given an artifact that lay next to another artifact, an arrowhead, passed to him by a family member. “These artifacts were put away and not displayed by Mr. Denny,” they said.
Choctaw Nation District Court Judge Amy Pierce granted a new search warrant for the search for stolen property and the desecration of human remains.