A Juneau judge rejected a plea deal Thursday that would have allowed stars from Discovery Channel’s wildly popular reality television series “Alaskan Bush People” to avoid jail time for lying on applications to get the Permanent Fund dividend checks given to Alaska residents.
“There needs to be a higher punishment to act as a deterrent,” said Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg. “If you knew you could catch everybody, maybe you wouldn’t need to punish each of them as much.”
Pallenberg said 30 days in jail would be appropriate for the crime, though he couldn’t impose that punishment Thursday. The case against members of the Brown family will resume in early December.
With the rejection of the deal, Billy Brown, the 62-year-old patriarch of the family, and his 31-year-old son Joshua "Bam Bam" Brown also withdrew their guilty pleas. Under the proposed deal, the two men had pleaded guilty Wednesday to one misdemeanor count each of second-degree unsworn falsification. Prosecutors would have dismissed many other charges if the deal went through.
Last October, the Brown family -- Billy Brown, his wife Amora “Ami” Brown and four of their children -- were charged with a total of 60 counts of first-degree unsworn falsification and first- and second-degree theft linked to dividend applications submitted from 2010 to 2013.
Personally I have never heard of this show.
Partly because I have never seen a show about Alaska, which really reflects what it's like to live in Alaska. But mostly because the only way I would watch a reality show was if somebody held a gun to my head, and even then I might choose the bullet.
Like I said though Alaskans would probably give these assholes a pass for being phonies, IF they had not been getting Permanent Fund checks under false pretenses.
You know when the fund was first established it was supposed to provide annual monetary amounts based on length of residence.
As a lifelong resident of Alaska I was all for that, plus it would have had the added benefit of keeping people from moving up here simply to get their hands on the money. Which today is the same for everybody, so long as you have lived here at least one year.
And if that guideline had remained in place it would have made what the Browns did much more difficult.
With that in mind I hope these guys get a nice long stay in our correctional facilities.
Perhaps THEN they will have been here long enough to have earned the label "Sourdough."
Of course being in jail they STILL will not earn that PFD check.
P.S. By the way if you are watching any of these stupid reality shows as a way to lean about the Last Frontier, you are an idiot. And trust me, you still don't have a clue.