An American citizen has been charged by the Department of Justice for alleged drug trafficking on the Dark Web in exchange for Bitcoin. The event was reported in a press release issued by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York on January 2.
According to the publication, the defendant Joanna De Alba, a US citizen, was prosecuted that day in a federal court in Brooklyn for a formal accusation that signals her to conspire to distribute and possess with the intention of distributing heroin and methamphetamine, and distribution of heroin and methamphetamine through the dark web.
The defendant was arrested on October 24, 2019 at the border between Mexico and the United States while trying to enter the United States, the statement said.
Details of the accusation
United States prosecutor Richard P. Donoghue said:
“As alleged, De Alba dispensed heroin and methamphetamine from the dark corners of the Internet, believing that it provided anonymity to her and her clients … But thanks to the outstanding work of the prosecutors of this Office and the special agents of the DEA, it has enlightened their activities and now they will have to be held accountable for their criminal acts accused.”
For his part, the special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the New York Division, Ray Donovan, said:
“Anonymity is what drug dealers trust in the dark network, but this case shows that it is a false security. The police are committed to tracking drug dealer distribution networks everywhere. ”
As explained in the statement, the Internet contains online markets for narcotics and other contraband in the “dark web”, there is a part of the Internet located outside the reach of traditional Internet browsers and accessible only through networks designed to hide the user identities.
As alleged, one of them is the “Wall Street Market”, a dark global market that required its users to exchange digital currencies, mainly Bitcoin (BTC).
According to investigations, between June 2018 and May 2019, De Alba allegedly promoted and sold illegal narcotics as alleged drugs within that market, under the pseudonym “RaptureReloaded.”
There he offered customers free shipping to various addresses in the United States, and “stealth” delivery options. It also operated with other options that included measures to hide the external and internal packaging of illegal narcotics in order to evade detection by law enforcement and inform buyers if law enforcement had intercepted, manipulated or supervised the Shipping, detailed.
On January 3, 2019, an undercover DEA agent accessed the RaptureReloaded list on the Wall Street market and bought 30 grams of heroin. Later that day, the undercover agent bought 10 grams of methamphetamine from the RaptureReloaded list.
As requested, the undercover agent paid the amount equivalent to $1,970 (at the time of that change) with bitcoin for the alleged medications.
On January 14, 2019, the undercover agent retrieved a package sent by RaptureReloaded through the U.S. Postal Service. UU to a mailbox in Queens, New York.
This package contained a small plastic container containing approximately 30 grams of a substance that tested positive for heroin, and a transparent plastic bag containing approximately 10 grams of a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the statement.
During the investigations, between August 2018 and January 2019, law enforcement officers intercepted five packages containing methamphetamine and fentanyl tablets that were sent from the Netherlands and Canada, which were addressed to De Alba’s late husband in an apartment at southern California.
Apparently, since the death of her husband in March 2018, De Alba used her identity and credit cards to finance the dark market narcotics business. If De Alba is convicted of all charges, she could face between five and 100 years in prison.