As the world looks towards a future that has more prevalent cryptocurrency use, there are many aspects that need to be explored on one of these is the use of cryptocurrency for criminal purposes. Like any emerging industry and any industry that has to do with finance, some elements of crime inevitably exist within the cryptocurrency industry, whether it is the use of crypto to pay for criminal goods and services or the crimes that take place that targets crypto users and institutions. Even as laws and regulations are created to foster the crypto industry, various regulatory bodies are also having to deal with the criminal incidences that come along with it.

According to a January 3, 2020 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, a US citizen has been charged for distributing heroin and methamphetamines in exchange for bitcoin.

Drugs and Bitcoin 

The money question is named Joanna De Alba and reportedly sold these illegal drugs on the dark web on the market place called the Wall Street Market from June 2018 to May 2019. It should be noted that the use of cryptocurrency on the dark web has been studied in the past and show them that crypto has become a tool of choice due to its increased privacy for the criminals who will transact their business there.

“Defendant Joanna De Alba, a U.S. citizen, will be arraigned this afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn on an indictment charging her with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and distribution of heroin and methamphetamine via the “‘dark web,” the press release states. 

To cover her tracks, Alaba had told her customers to contact her only through encrypted messaging services and pay only through bitcoin. After catching wind of her activities, an undercover agent purchased 30 grams of heroin and 10 grams of methamphetamine from Alba and paid for the goods through bitcoin. The undercover agent then received a package that contained the drugs that had been paid for and Alma is now being charged. If found guilty, she could face five years in prison with the maximum sentence of 100 years.

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