A U.S. citizen, Joanna De Alba, has been arraigned in federal court in Brooklyn on an indictment, charging her with conspiring to distribute narcotics in exchange for bitcoin. US Citizen indicted for accepting bitcoin for narcotics distribution.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a press release, “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,” said DOJ Attorney Richard P. Donoghue.
De Alba reportedly used the screen name “RaptureReloaded” to advertise and sell illegal narcotics on the dark web marketplace Wall Street Market. The transactions happened between June 2018 and May 2019.
De Alba offered free shipping to U.S. addresses and stealth delivery options from “Basic Stealth”, “Better Stealth” and “Super Stealth 360” to customers. Buyers were told to pay for it in Bitcoin and to communicate through encrypted email and messaging services.
On 3 January 2019, a DEA undercover agent accessed the RaptureReloaded page on the Wall Street Exchange and bought heroin and methamphetamine. On January 14, 2019, the undercover agent received a parcel sent by RaptureReloaded through the U.S. postal service to a mailbox in Queens, New York.
De Alba has reportedly used her husband’s name and credit cards to fund her drug company on the Wall Street Exchange since the death of her husband in March 2018.
De Alba faces a minimum prison term of five years and if convicted of all counts, a maximum sentence of up to 100 years in prison.
“Anonymity is what drug dealers rely on in the dark web, but this case proves it’s false security. Law enforcement is committed to tracking down drug traffickers’ distribution networks everywhere,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Donovan.