BILLINGS, Mont. -

A 44-year-old man accused of refusing to return his children to their mother and instead taking them to the Bahamas on a sailboat has pleaded not guilty to interference charges.

Montana Judge John Brown on Friday ordered defendant James Bryant held on $100,000 bail during his initial appearance Friday in state district court in Gallatin County. If Bryant is able to post bail, the court will set special conditions.

He was arrested last month in Florida on three counts of parenting interference. His wife, Angela, is fighting extradition from Hawaii, where she was arrested on identical charges.

Authorities say the pair took Bryant's three children to the Bahamas instead of returning them to their mother in Belgrade, Mont., after a parental visit scheduled to end in August.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for April 25.

If convicted, Bryant could face up to 30 years in prison and a $150,000 fine.