Crime & Courts

Instead of jail, 'Alaskan Bush People' stars will serve time on ankle monitors

Two "Alaskan Bush People" stars convicted of lying on Permanent Fund dividend applications reported to Juneau last week to serve their 30-day sentences on ankle monitors, an Alaska Department of Corrections spokesman said Monday.

Billy Brown, the 63-year-old patriarch of the family, and his 31-year-old son, Joshua "Bam Bam" Brown, were sentenced to 30 days in jail earlier this year after they each pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of second-degree unsworn falsification. In return for their guilty pleas, charges were dropped against other family members involved in the case.

Corey Allen-Young, spokesman for Department of Corrections, said Monday that the father and son reported to Juneau for their 30 days of electronic monitoring last Wednesday. Allen-Young said they must report to a probation officer in Juneau and provide urine samples at least once a week.

Inmates who want to serve their prison sentences at home must apply for the department's electronic monitoring program, Allen-Young said. The department requires that inmates in the program meet a list of qualifications, including no weapons or alcohol in their homes. They also cannot be convicted sex offenders and must have a working landline phone, among other requirements.

"You have to be considered very low-risk," Allen-Young said.

Attorneys for the Browns did not return calls for comment Monday.

The case against the Browns -- which began with charges filed in 2014 -- has called into question how long the stars of the popular reality TV show "Alaskan Bush People" actually lived in Alaska. Most Alaska residents can get a Permanent Fund dividend check if they have lived in the state for at least one calendar year. Alaskans can leave the state for up to 180 days and still be eligible for the check. If they leave for longer than that, it must be for a reason such as attending college.

On the latest season of the show, the Brown family reportedly lived outside Hoonah in Southeast Alaska.

Tegan Hanlon

Tegan Hanlon was a reporter for the Anchorage Daily News between 2013 and 2019. She now reports for Alaska Public Media.