Alaska News

Owners of floating Kodiak strip club charged with improper disposal of human waste

A federal grand jury on Monday returned a three-count indictment against the owners of a defunct floating strip club in Kodiak for offenses related to the "improper disposal of human waste."

Kimberly Christina Reidel-Byler, 46, and Darren K. Byler, 54, both of Kodiak, face charges that they piped waste from bathrooms on the Wild Alaskan directly into the harbor, then lied about it to investigators with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Attempts to contact the two were unsuccessful Monday.

The Wild Alaskan was a 120-foot Bering Sea crabbing boat converted to a bar and strip club docked in St. Herman Harbor, near Kodiak. After opening in June, it operated for a brief but storied five months, closing Nov. 30 after its liquor license was revoked.

Byler told KTVA News in November that the business had been "wildly successful."

The indictment alleges that Kimberly Byler told U.S. Coast Guard investigators that human waste from the boat was being stored in 5,000-gallon tanks and disposed on shore.

Darren Byler, the indictment claims, told the Coast Guard that he was taking waste to a pier in the harbor, or that he was ferrying the waste to a point 3 nautical miles offshore, where he would dump it into the ocean.


"Indeed, waste from the Wild Alaskan was being piped from the customer and employee bathrooms directly overboard and into St. Herman Harbor," according to a Monday release from the U.S. Attorney's office.

The Bylers are accused of violating the Refuse Act, which governs disposal of human waste into nearshore waters, and of "making material false statements" to Coast Guard investigators.

Darren Byler was arraigned on Monday, the release said. Kimberly Byler isn't in federal custody yet, the release said.

If the pair are convicted, they face a sentence of up to one year in jail and fines of $25,000 for every day the Refuse Act was violated. If convicted of making false statements to Coast Guard investigators, they could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She focuses on in-depth stories about the intersection of public policy and Alaskans' lives. Before joining the ADN in 2012, she worked at daily newspapers up and down the West Coast and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon.