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Father, son convicted of distributing meth on 'darknet' marketplace

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Posted at 9:06 AM, Jun 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-18 12:06:21-04

SANTA ANA, Calif. — An Irvine man who was part of a father-son team that distributed methamphetamine on one of the world's largest 'darknet' marketplaces pleaded guilty to a federal criminal drug charge, 11 days after a federal jury found his father guilty of drug charges.

Thirty four-year-old William "Billy" Thomas Glarner IV pleaded guilty to one felony count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine Tuesday. Glarner is scheduled to be sentenced on September 23, where he will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison.

In his plea agreement, Garner admitted that he used at least three monikers to obscure his identity on the 'darknet,' including on the "Tor" darknet browser, where he conducted more than 1,500 sales of controlled substances, including methamphetamine.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the darknet refers to computer networks that utilize some of the Internet, but provides greater anonymity, allowing vendors to sell goods and services - such as illegal drug sales - often in exchange for virtual currency.

According to DHS, Glarner obtained drugs from various sources, and along with others, mailed drugs to darknet customers nationwide by using services such as the U.S. Postal Service.

DHS says a search warrant executed at Glarner's residence and on his car on March 14 resulted in law enforcement officials recovering 5.5 pounds of methamphetamine. Glarner admitted that some of the methamphetamine was packaged for purposes of distribution for orders placed on the darknet.

On June 6, Glarner's father, 61-year-old William Thomas Glarner III 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. DHS says Glarner III was observed mailing packages of methamphetamine, including one to a darknet customer.

DHS says a search warrant executed on March 14 on Glarner III and his vehicle resulted in the seizure of over 3.1 pounds of methamphetamine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 9, where he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of life in prison.