A floating strip club that was converted from an old crabbing boat is under fire after it’s been dumping human waste into a harbor.
Darren Byler and Kimberly Riedel-Byler have been indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts , including violations of the federal Refuse Act.
Byler and Riedel-Byler piped sewage from the ship’s bathrooms into the St. Herman Harbor instead of taking the waste three miles offshore, the indictment says. The two are also accused of lying to the Coast Guard saying they were properly disposing of the waste when they weren’t.
Byler told The Associated Press that there were not any lies told the Coast Guard and no sewage was dumped into the harbor. He said there was plenty of room to store sewage in the 3,500 gallon holding tank and the ship had previously past marine sanitation and plumbing inspections.
Byler pleaded not guilty in his arraignment Monday. Riedel-Byler is expected to be arrested soon.
This is not the first time the floating strip club has run into trouble with the law.
The Coast Guard shut the place down briefly after it was reported that a water taxi that ferried patrons to the vessel was overloaded. The Coast Guard also found the boat had an expired personal location beacon, expired inflatable devices on two life rafts and inoperable navigation sidelights.
The Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board revoked the business’ liquor license in December over questions about Byler’s common carrier license. Board officials said Kodiak bar owners alleged an unfar advantage because the common carrier licenses are subject to less oversight.
Byler is fighting the license revocation and plans to reopen in the spring.
The Associated Press contributed to this report