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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 23, 2015

Owners Of Floating Kodiak Strip Club Indicted By Federal Grand Jury

Wild Alaskan Operators Accused of Dumping Raw Sewage into Kodiak Harbor

Anchorage, Alaska – United States Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment against Kimberly Christina Reidel-Byler, 46, and Darren K. Byler, 54, both residing near Kodiak, Alaska, charging them with offenses relating to the improper disposal of human waste into waters in and around Kodiak, Alaska.

According to the Indictment filed in this case, the Bylers owned and operated the Wild Alaskan, a converted 94-foot Bering Sea crabber anchored in St. Herman Harbor, Kodiak, Alaska.  Between June 25, 2014, and November 30, 2014, the Wild Alaskan was a floating bar and strip club.  Customers were ferried to the vessel from shore by the Gulf Coast Responder, a 35-foot landing craft.

During its operation, Kimberly Byler told the U.S. Coast Guard that human waste from the Wild Alaskan was being stored in a 5,000 gallon tank on the vessel, and then disposed of shore side by a commercial waste disposal firm.  Darren Byler told the U.S. Coast Guard that waste from the Wild Alaskan was being disposed of at Pier 2, St. Herman Harbor, or that he would transport the human waste in the Gulf Coast Responder to a point three nautical miles offshore, where he would then dump it into the ocean.

The Indictment alleges that these representations to the U.S. Coast Guard were false.  Indeed, waste from the Wild Alaskan was being piped from the customer and employee bathrooms directly overboard and into St. Herman Harbor.  Disposal of human waste without a permit into waters within three nautical miles of shore is a violation of the Refuse Act, Title 33, United States Code, Sections 407 and 411.  Making material false statements to the U.S. Coast Guard is a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.

The case was the product of an investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Reardon is prosecuting the case.

Darren Byler made his initial appearance and was arraigned on February 23, 2015.  Kimberly Byler is not yet in federal custody.

If convicted of violating the Refuse Act, the Bylers face not less than 30 days in jail and up to one year, a fine of $25,000 for each day the act was violated, a one-year term of supervised release, and a $25 special assessment.  If convicted of making false statements, the Bylers face up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, a three-year term of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.  Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.  The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Topic(s): 
Environment
Component(s): 
Updated February 27, 2015