A Casper man formerly employed by UPS is accused of stealing packages containing painkillers and other drugs meant for patients of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Sheridan over a period of roughly 19 months.

Bryan Alan Dennis, 35, pleaded not guilty Thursday morning before District Judge Catherine Wilking to three counts of burglary, one felony count of possession of hydrocodone and one felony count of possession of dextroamphetamine. If convicted on all five counts, Dennis could face up to 44 years in prison.

Charging documents say that on January 25, security personnel at the UPS distribution center contacted the local office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration regarding some 15 packages that had been lost or stolen.

The packages, sent from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Sheridan, contained pharmaceutical drugs -- mostly the prescription painkillers oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Security personnel told investigators that the packages were evidently targeted because they were coming from the V.A. Medical Center and required a signature from the recipient upon delivery. When the patient was not available to sign for the delivery, the packages were returned to the UPS distribution center and locked inside a supervisor's office, but someone had allegedly been stealing the packages.

On February 17 at about 11:40 p.m., two special agents met with UPS security personnel to install a camera at the distribution center in order to get a video recording of the person responsible for the thefts. As the agents arrived, they noticed a man -- later identified as Dennis -- near a Dodge Ram pickup truck and a Dodge Charger, looking under the hood of the Dodge.

An agent spoke with Dennis, who claimed he was replacing the battery in his truck. Investigators then waited for Dennis to leave the area.

Dennis reportedly drove the pickup truck around the block and returned to the parking lot, then drove the Charger around the block and again returned to the parking lot, where he was out of the agents' view. A few minutes later, Dennis left the area in the Charger.

The agents and the security employee went into the UPS building and, after some time, the employee saw that the intake log showed two packages were supposed to be maintained in the manager's office. However, agents could find no packages in the office.

Upon reviewing an on-site camera, they saw someone apparently taking an item from the office at about 12:01 a.m., which is approximately the time that Dennis was seen coming back to the UPS building for the final time.

On Feb. 22, a special agent was granted a tracker application warrant for Dennis's vehicles. The following day, agents put a tracking device on the pickup.

On the evening of March 3, Dennis's vehicle was observed arriving at the distribution center. Interior cameras showed Dennis meeting with another employee, then leaving the building. Dennis left with a folder or piece of paper in his hand, but no packages.

The following evening at roughly 11 p.m., electronic surveillance was conducted on Dennis's vehicle. He left his home and drove straight to the distribution center, where he was seen talking with another employee. That other employee then got into a semi-truck and left.

After the other employee left, Dennis was seen covering his head with a hooded sweatshirt, putting on gloves, and entering an area consisting of several offices. One of those offices was the supervisor's office, which was kept locked and contained the V.A. Medical Center packages.

A short time after he entered the office area, Dennis was seen leaving with items concealed beneath his sweatshirt. Electronic surveillance showed that Dennis's vehicle went straight back to his home.

Agents who were watching Dennis's house saw him get out of his pickup truck, walk into the garage and immediately close the garage door behind him.

It was later learned that four packages from the V.A. Medical Center were being stored at the distribution center that night. Two of those packages contained 5-mg hydrocodone pills, one contained 10-mg hydrocodone pills and the last package contained dextroamphetamine, which is used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder.

All four of those packages were found to have been stolen when UPS employees arrived at work on the morning of March 5.

Electronic surveillance was again conducted on Dennis's vehicle on March 18 at about 10:30 p.m. Dennis was observed arriving at the distribution center, entering the office area, and then leaving the building. Agents watched as Dennis went to various locations and eventually returned to the distribution center at about 11:30 p.m. Dennis then drove directly to his home, where he was taken into custody.

Before he was placed under arrest, Dennis allegedly admitted that he had been stealing medications which had been sent from the V.A. Medical Center as far back as September 2016. He allegedly admitted to taking packages of pain medications from the locked office space, which he accessed by prying open the lock mechanism with his pocket knife.

When he was arrested, Dennis consented to a search of his pickup truck. Agents also previously had received judicial authorization to search the pickup as well as the Dodge Charger.

Inside the Dodge, agents allegedly found some 32 dextroamphetamine pills and a prescription pill bottle bearing another person's name which contained 168 hydrocodone pills.

Inside Dennis's home, agents found a prescription pill bottle bearing another person's name which contained 105 dextroamphetamine pills.

Public defender Robert Oldham on Thursday asked Judge Wilking to modify the conditions of Dennis's bond in order to allow Dennis to travel to Colorado for what Oldham called "personal, professional reasons."

Wilking granted the request. Dennis remains free on bond.

More From K2 Radio