Sentencing reset for Alaska strip club owner in dumping case

  • Thursday, January 19, 2017 10:35pm
  • News

By RACHEL D’ORO

Associated Press

ANCHORAGE — A sentencing hearing has been rescheduled for an Alaska man who was found guilty of illegally dumping human waste into a harbor from a converted crabbing boat he was operating as a floating strip club.

Darren Byler had been scheduled for a Thursday sentencing. But his attorney, John Cashion, said Byler’s flight from Kodiak Island was delayed and the sentencing is now set for 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Federal prosecutors have recommended 18 months in prison for Darren Byler.

In a sentencing memorandum, Cashion asks that the court consider a fine and probation rather than prison time, adding that Byler is “especially needed as a partner to his wife and family in a frontier subsistence environment.”

Byler’s wife in a letter to U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason asked for her husband to be kept out of prison, claiming he was unfairly convicted of a felony.

“This was and has always been about getting rid of the ‘stripper boat,’ ” Kimberly Riedel-Byler wrote. “It was about the dancers from beginning to end.”

Byler was convicted in December 2015 of dumping sewage in violation of the federal Refuse Act and lying to federal authorities. The maximum penalty is five years in prison for the false statements and $25,000 for each violation of the federal Refuse Act.

Riedel-Byler was found not guilty of the same charges.

Byler piped raw sewage from bathrooms aboard the 94-foot “Wild Alaskan” boat into the harbor near Kodiak in 2014 instead of taking it 3 miles offshore and told the Coast Guard that the waste had been disposed of properly, prosecutors have said.

The Wild Alaskan opened for business in June 2014 and encountered problems early on.

The floating bar was briefly shut down by the Coast Guard after someone reported a water taxi taking patrons to the vessel was overloaded.

The Coast Guard also found the boat had an expired locator beacon, expired inflatable devices on two life rafts and inoperable navigation sidelights.

Byler said at the time that he believed his troubles happened because people disapproved of the exotic dancers aboard his boat.

The boat operated as a strip club until late 2014, court documents said.

More in News

Kenai Fire Marshal Jeremy Hamilton is seen by one of Kenai Fire Department’s Tower trucks on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at Kenai Fire Department in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Get up, get out and get safe’

Kids taught about fire safety as part of prevention effort

Bob Bird, left, chairman of the Alaskan Independence Party, and former Lt. Gov. Loren Leman make the case in favor of a state constitutional convention during a debate in Anchorage broadcast Thursday by Alaska Public Media. (Screenshot from Alaska Public Media’s YouTube channel)
Constitutional convention debate gets heated

Abortion, PFD factor into forum.

Carol Freas (right) helps a voter fill out absentee election materials in Kenai City Hall ahead of the Oct. 4 municipal election on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Absentee voting already underway

Absentee in-person voting has been made available across the borough

Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara
What’s on the ballot: Reapportionment, new field house, school bond

Voters will decide on ballot measures that address schools, public safety and legislative bodies

Cars line up ahead of dismissal at Mountain View Elementary School on Thursday, September 29, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. A bond package up for consideration by Kenai Peninsula Borough voters on Oct. 4 would fund improvements to the school’s traffic flow. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Parking lot problems

Lack of space for pickup and drop-offs creates traffic jam at elementary school

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson points out elements of the school building on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Aging school on the brink

Renovations are cost prohibitive at Soldotna Elementary

Rep. Mary Peltola, an Alaska Democrat, delivers a speech on the U.S. House floor before Thursday’s vote approving her first bill, establishing an Office of Food Security in the Department of Veterans Affairs. It passed the House by a 376-49 vote, although its fate in the Senate is undetermined. (Screenshot from official U.S. House video)
Poll: Peltola’s a popular pol

Food for vets bill passes House, pollster says she is “the most popular figure in Alaska right now.”

A parking sign awaits the new executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund at its Juneau headquarters, Three finalists will be interviewed for the job during a public meeting Monday by the fund’s board of trustees, who are expected to deliberate and announce the new director immediately afterward. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Interviews, selection of new Permanent Fund CEO set for Monday

Three finalists seeking to manage $73.7B fund to appear before trustees at public meeting in Juneau

Principal Sarge Truesdell looks at cracked siding outside of Soldotna High School on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. The siding is one of several projects in a bond package Kenai Peninsula voters will consider during the Oct. 4 municipal election. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Critical needs’: Split siding at SoHi

The damage has been given patchwork treatment over the years

Most Read