Eight months of raids, undercover investigations by police and the Coast Guard as well as the Alcohol Beverage Control Board culminated in a three-count indictment for the owners of The Wild Alaskan, the exotic dance club anchored outside of Kodiak's harbors since June.
Darren and Kimberly Byler were charged with violating the Refuse Act for allegedly pumping their toilet water into the channel and for making false statements about it to the Coast Guard.
Darren Byler says this is just the latest in a pattern of harassment his business has suffered since opening.
“When I think I've seen it all, it just keeps getting better, with the government scrutiny since we opened up. The Coast Guard has laid down the hammer so to speak, with all the funds, the power, the money. And we're guilty of nothing. They indicted us on charges they can't prove. Before people rush to judgment, we'll have our day in court.”
Byler says he pumped the black water tank, which held the toilet water, into a bladder on the smaller vessel he used for transferring patrons to and from the Water Dock on the Spit, and then transferred it outside the three-mile limit for disposal. He said his on-board black water tank holds 3,500 gallons, though he says investigators seemed to think it was significantly smaller.
“I have passed several Coast guard examinations with that same tank and that plumbing. The latest one in August, right after we opened by a boarding party from one of the Coast Guard cutters, Long Island. And I have a document in my possession that I passed the MSD No. 3 Sanitation Device, which is my holding tank. Why are they claiming I don't have that tank in their documentation when I have a Coast Guard boarding party says I do have that tank? That's pretty stinky. No pun intended.”
Byler is also upset that his wife has been indicted as well, saying the sewage disposal was his responsibility.
“My wife, for what they did to her is absolutely disgraceful. My wife has nothing to do with any of these allegations. She doesn't run the engine room of the vessel. I do. I handle all of the engine room operations, the transferring of the black water. She knows nothing about any of that stuff. That's my deal. But there trying to drag her into this just to be mean spirited and it's really disgraceful.”
Byler has an open letter to the Coast Guard investigator posted on the Wild Alaskan Facebook page detailing many more of his thoughts on his situation. you can find it here: