Alleged dark web narcotics trafficker indicted

Feds indict US woman allegedly involved in dark web narcotics trafficking

The U.S. Department of Justice has indicted a U.S. citizen for selling and distributing drugs over the internet. The 39-year-old is accused of selling methamphetamine and heroine on a dark web site and distributing the drugs across the United States and beyond. If found guilty, she faces over 100 years in prison.

Joanna De Alba was arraigned in a federal court in Brooklyn last week, the DoJ revealed in a press release. She is charged with “conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and distribution of heroin and methamphetamine via the dark web.”

The DoJ alleged that De Alba sold the drugs via ‘Wall Street Market,’ a dark web marketplace where users could only make payments in BTC. She sold the drugs between June 2018 and May 2019 under the moniker ‘RaptureReloaded’. Her clients could only contact her through encrypted email and messaging services.

De Alba, who lives in Tijuana, Mexico, allegedly offered free shipping to U.S. clients. She also offered three levels of stealth with her delivery—basic stealth, better stealth and super stealth 360. Clients in the last tier had the most privacy, including measures to alert them if law enforcement had tampered with or were tracking their packages.

The DoJ nabbed De Alba through an undercover DEA agent who posed as a client on Wall Street Market. The agent purchased 30 grams of heroine from her, which she mailed to the agent about a week later. The authorities also intercepted five packages containing methamphetamine pills and fentanyl shipped from the Netherlands and Canada and addressed to an apartment registered to De Alba’s deceased husband. The DoJ alleged the suspect has been using her husband’s identity and credit cards since his death in March 2018 in her drugs business.

The DoJ indicated, “If convicted of all counts, De Alba faces a mandatory minimum term of five years’ imprisonment and a maximum sentence of up to 100 years in prison.”

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

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