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Author details life on the run with her drug smuggling father in new book

March 25, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Author details life on the run with her drug smuggling father in new book

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In 1993, when Tyler Wetherall was almost ten years old, she came home from school with her 12-year-old sister, Caitlin, noticed two strangers talking to their mother.

“We sensed something was wrong,” Wetherall who is now 34, recalled during an interview with the New York Post.

The family lived in a charming British town at the time.

The guests were investigators from Scotland Yard searching for their American father — who, unbeknownst to them, was a fugitive for eight years.

He was on the lam wanted for his involvement in a  “Continuing Criminal Enterprise” as one of the drug lords of a cartel that, among other crimes, had smuggled 30 tons of marijuana from Thailand into the U.S. in the early 1980s.

‘We never questioned the moves, but I hated each one. It was the era of Ronald Reagan’s war on drugs,” Tyler Wetherall said. “If you were caught, the sentences were draconian.”

She recounts her struggles and fascinating account as the daughter of a wanted fugitive, Benjamin Glaser, in her book “No Way Home: A Memoir of Life on the Run.”

which will be released April 3rd. In the memoir, she recounts her nomadic childhood residing in 13 different homes across five countries

St. Martin’s Press

The writer and author was born in 1983 in San Francisco, where her father had started a profitable import business shipping and distributing marijuana from Asia. The FBI had uncovered his exploits and was closely surveilling the family.

In 1985, Glaser and his wife left their home and fled to Rome. However, it seemed that the Feds were catching onto Glaser, collecting enough evidence to indict him.

After Italy, they relocated to Portugal and, months later, moved to the South of France — where other fellow fugitives in the enclave included exiled Haitian dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier and Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

“We were surrounded by wealth, but, since everyone was living that way, it just felt ordinary,” Wetherall stated. “[They] would exchange information on how to get by, how to get your kid into school under a fake name and how to spend money [that had been obtained illegally].”

However, life on the lam was too much for Wetherall’s mom, Sarah, a British model, and she requested that the family settle in England. Soon after, in late 1987, Sarah and Benjamin filed for divorce.

“I was devastated,” Wetherall, who was four at the time, added. “I wished on every birthday that they would get back together.”

Afterward, Wetherall and her sister spent weekends and vacations visiting their father in London, where he was living, or on a trip with him to the French Alps or whatever exotic location he was temporarily living in.

All seemed to be ok until the visit from the Scotland Yard in 1993. Interest had been restored in Glaser after a crew of his former associates had been arrested. The family’s home was searched, and their pictures and documents were used as evidence. Even Wetherall’s diary was seized.

Author Tyler Wetherall gives her detailed account of her life on the run in her book No Way Home: A Memoir of Life on the Run” (Instagram)

The children couldn’t be interviewed because they were minors, and Sarah refused to give up the location of her ex-husband. She informed Glaser about the bust and, using a fake passport, he fled London for life on the run again in Europe. One week later, Sarah sat down her children — who were 9 and 11 — and told them the truth.

“You are not going to see Dad for a while,” she started the conversation. “He had to leave for legal reasons — something he needs to explain himself.”

The next three years were hard. The family believed their phone line was tapped and that they were often being tracked. Communication with Glaser was carried out through letters — “He never pinned himself to a location, and we knew better than to ask,” Wetherall continued.

Glaser would take the chance of having them visit him even while he was on the run. They once saw him in France, for example, taken there by one of their father’s neighbors.

“A lot of men in his position would have left their families, but Dad wanted to be a part of our lives. It was [a] testimony to what an amazing father he was — despite his reckless decisions.”

His urge to stay in touch with his daughters ended up being his downfall. In 1995, Scotland Yard, working with the FBI, received a tip that Wetherall and her sister were with their father in St. Lucia, where he was a hotel manager.

“On my 12th birthday, he got a frantic call saying they were on his trail,” Wetherall recalled.

The girls were put on the next flight, and Glaser left again. But not for long. After four months in Europe, he went back to St. Lucia, where he was finally apprehended.

“I think he’d had it with running and hiding,” Wetherall continued.

Her father was sentenced in California to 10 years behind bars, which was later reduced to five years and ten months. He told his daughters about his shady past and the toll it took on the family while saying that smuggling weed is a “victimless crime.”

As of 2004, he has been out on supervised release, he is now an investment advisor in northern California. Sarah is retired and living in England.

“There have been times when I have been angry and having a parent in prison carries a sense of shame,” Wetherall added. However, she has made peace with her father, especially after spending months with him for her memoir.

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