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Press Release

Los Angeles Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Distribute Narcotics on the Dark Web

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

FRESNO, Calif. — William James Farber, 39, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute narcotics, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, Farber and his co-conspirators, operating under the name PureFireMeds, sold narcotics including marijuana, cocaine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, psilocybin, MDMA (Ecstasy), LSD, and ketamine on dark web marketplaces, including Silk Road. After Silk Road was shut down by law enforcement in Oct. 2013, Farber and his co‑conspirators began selling on the AlphaBay dark web marketplace under the name HumboldtFarms. It became one of the largest vendors on AlphaBay, completing tens of thousands of orders for marijuana on the site to customers throughout the United States.

This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Bakersfield Police Department with assistance from the Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Grant B. Rabenn and Ross Pearson are prosecuting the case.

Farber is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on April 20, 2020. Farber faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

Updated October 10, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 1:17-cr-188-LJO