DOJ Indicts US Citizen Selling Drugs in Exchange for Bitcoin

A U.S. person has been indicted for offering drugs on the dark web in return for bitcoin

Joanna De Alba of Tijuana, Mexico, has been summoned in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, for the unlawful sale and distribution of narcotics, as per a Department of Justice (DOJ) official statement on January 2.

“As alleged, De Alba dispensed heroin and methamphetamine from the shadowy corners of the internet, believing that it provided anonymity to her and her customers,” stated DOJ Attorney Richard P. Donoghue. “A bright light has been shined on her activities, and she will now be held to account for her charged criminal acts.”

Under the alias, “RaptureReloaded,” De Alba purportedly sold narcotics on the dark web marketplace Wall Street Market from June 2018 to May last year. Clients utilized encrypted email and bitcoin to buy drugs from De Alba, who marketed different levels of anonymity for bundles sent to the U.S. like “Basic Stealth,” “Better Stealth” and “Super Stealth 360,” as indicated by the DOJ.

In January last year, an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent effectively acquired around 40 grams of narcotics from De Alba, getting a package in Queens, New York, for roughly $2,000 in bitcoin.

The DEA additionally captured five worldwide packages from the Netherlands and Canada containing opiates routed to De Alba’s deceased spouse in Southern California. The DOJ said De Alba had utilized her partner’s identity and credit cards to facilitate transactions since his passing in March 2018.

“Anonymity is what drug dealers rely on in the dark web, but this case proves it’s a false security,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Ray Donovan. “Law enforcement is committed to tracking down drug traffickers’ distribution networks everywhere.”

If sentenced for all counts, De Alba faces somewhere in the range of five and 100 years in jail.