Joanna De Alba, a 40-year-old explicitly described the U.S. Attorney’s Office as a “U.S. citizen,” will be spending 96 months in prison after pleading guilty to a variety of drug charges. The defendant admitted selling heroin, MDMA, cocaine, methamphetamine, and oxycodone on Wallstreet Market. De Alba, who operated an account under the username “RaptureReloaded,” completed 600 transactions between 2018 ad 2019.
The Drug Enforcement Administration launched an investigation into De Alba in 2018.
Investigators purchased of heroin and methamphetamine from RaptureReloaded in late 2018 and early 2019. Investigators, after receiving their orders, linked the shipping labels to a third-party postage service. This is a mistake made by many of the arrested darkweb vendors on this site. Although there are a number of postage services that accept cryptocurrency, De Alba used credit cards to pay for shipping labels. Court documents revealed that she used cards under her name as well as cards under her late husband’s name to pay for postage. De Alba had at least five accounts with the postage service, all of which used credit cards.
Two of the accounts used to purchase the shipping labels had been registered under her late husband’s name and the email addresses firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. The defendant had used her phone number and email address to register the other accounts. Using the information provided by the postage service, investigators found De Alba’s Facebook account where they learned that her husband had died in March 2018.
The investigators also seized five heroin and methamphetamine packages shipped from the Netherlands and Canada to her late husband’s home in California. The packages were seized between August 2018 and January 2019, prosecutors highlighted. This, to them, proved that De Alba had gone to great lengths to “operate anonymously and conceal her identity.”
The defendant was arrested on October 24, 2019, at the US-Mexico border as she attempted to cross into the US. She was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, and distribution of heroin and methamphetamine.
De Alba had distributed more than 840 grams of heroin, 190 grams of methamphetamine, 1,250 MDMA pills, and 750 fentanyl-laced oxycodone pills in over 600 orders. She pocketed approximately 16.32 Bitcoin and 400 Monero during the drug trafficking operation.
De Alba pleaded guilty in April 2021 and was sentenced to eight years in prison on November 3 by United States District Judge Dora L. Irizarry.
Speaking after announcing De Alba’s sentence United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace said:
“The prison sentence imposed on De Alba today demonstrates that her clandestine use of the dark web to distribute a potentially lethal array of powerful drugs like fentanyl, heroin, and oxycodone in exchange for cryptocurrency was a failure. This investigation and vigorous prosecution show that we will not allow the dark web to be a haven for drug traffickers.”