Father and son convicted of methamphetamine distribution charges in HSI investigation into large darknet marketplace
SANTA ANA, Calif. – An Irvine man who was part of a father-and-son crew that illegally distributed methamphetamine on one of the world’s largest darknet marketplaces pleaded guilty today to a federal criminal drug charge, 11 days after a federal jury found his father guilty of drug charges.
William Thomas Glarner IV, a.k.a. “Billy,” 34, pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. U.S. District Judge David O. Carter has scheduled a September 23 sentencing hearing, where Glarner will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison.
This case is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Los Angeles and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistance was provided by the La Habra Police Department, the Costa Mesa Police Department, the Brea Police Department, the Cypress Police Department, and the Cass County Drug Task Force of North Dakota.
Glarner admitted in his plea agreement that he used at least three monikers to obscure his true identity on the darknet, including on the “Tor” darknet browser, where he conducted more than 1,500 sales of controlled substances, including methamphetamine. The term “darknet” refers to computer networks that utilize some of the Internet, but provide greater anonymity, allowing vendors to sell goods and services – such as illegal drug sales – often in exchange for virtual currency.
Glarner obtained drugs from various sources, and along with others, mailed drugs to darknet customers nationwide by using such services as the U.S. Postal Service and commercial couriers, according to the plea agreement.
A search warrant executed at Glarner’s residence and on his car on March 14 resulted in law enforcement officials recovering 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of methamphetamine, court papers state. Glarner admitted that some of this methamphetamine was packaged for purposes of distribution for orders placed on the darknet.
On June 6, Glarner’s father, William Thomas Glarner III, 61, of Huntington Beach, who had been identified as part of the overall investigation into his son’s darknet activity and charged separately, was found guilty by a jury of three methamphetamine distribution-related charges after a four-day trial. Glarner III was observed mailing packages of methamphetamine, including one to a darknet customer, according to evidence presented at trial and in court papers.
A search warrant executed on March 14 on Glarner III and his vehicle resulted in the seizure of over 1.4 kilograms (3.1 pounds) of methamphetamine, as presented during trial. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 9, where he faces a statutory maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison.
This matter is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney, Central District of California’s International Narcotics, Money Laundering and Racketeering Section.