UA Professor Arrested On Drug, Gun Charges

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — The former chair of the Anthropology Department at the University of Arkansas was arrested Tuesday (April 24) after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency linked several prescription drug deliveries to his home.

Justin Murphy Nolan, 46, was arrested in connection with four counts of possession of a controlled substance, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms and unlawful use of a communication device.

A university spokesman said school officials are investigating the matter. They released the following statement:

“We are monitoring a personnel matter regarding Dr. Justin Nolan, who decided to step down as the chair of his department today. We are gathering more information but he has also been placed on administrative leave indefinitely while these matters are pending. The vice chair of the department, Dr. JoAnn D’Alisera, will serve as acting chair of the department.”

Nolan teaches several anthropology courses at the university, including introductory and seminar classes, according to the department’s website. He joined the university in 2002.

Agents interviewed Nolan in February at the university after getting a tip he was receiving prescription drugs at his home on South College Drive, according to a preliminary arrest report.

Nolan agreed to speak with the agents and allowed them to search his house, where they found several prescription drugs and four guns, including:

  • 420 Tramadol 100 mg tablets
  • 384 ephedrine 8 mg tablets
  • 144 ephedrine 12.5 mg tablets
  • 84 phenertmine 37.5 mg tablets
  • 34 Dianabol tablets
  • 3 Adderall 30 mg tablets
  • 2 pistols
  • 1 shotgun
  • 1 rifle

The agents also found messages on Nolan’s cell phone regarding the alleged drug purchases.

A DEA spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a message left Wednesday (April 25).

Nolan is free on a $3,500 bond. He has a hearing set for May 9 in Washington County Circuit Court.