A US woman, who trafficked drugs on the dark web, has been indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine. The culprit, Joanna De Alba, according to prosecutors, was arrested and detained on October 24, 2019, while attempting to cross the U.S-Mexico border into the U.S.

 

The US woman, was allegedly selling drugs including heroin, methamphetamine and other synthetic opioids on different dark web marketplaces and only accepted payment in cryptocurrencies, in a bid to avoid any contact with law enforcement. According to the indictment, the US woman, under the moniker, ‘RaptureReloaded’, advertised and sold illegal narcotics on dark web marketplaces including Wall Street Market and Global dark web marketplace. ‘RaptureReloaded’ also added that she only accepted payment in cryptocurrency, preferably bitcoin, to any advertisement she made on the dark web.

U.S woman

Image Source: www.theconversation.com

According to prosecutors, the US woman, conducted her illegal dark web drug trafficking between June 2018 and May 2019. During that period, she completed numerous drug deals and transactions and communicated with her clients only through highly encrypted messaging platforms. De Alba also offered free shipping to her customers living in the states and even added different delivery options. The 39-year-old, offered to ship orders to customers in the U.S under ‘stealth’ delivery options including ‘Basic Stealth’ ‘Better Stealth’ and ‘Super Stealth 360.’

 

All of these featured options, were in place to disguise both the internal and external packaging of the controlled substances to avoid detection by law enforcement and also alert buyers in cases where packages where monitored or intercepted by law enforcement.

 

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue in a statement, after the indictment stated that, the US woman, distributed methamphetamine, heroin and other illicit substances from the ‘shadowy corners’ of the internet with the idea that she was because of the ‘so called’ anonymity it provided. U.S. Attorney Donoghue, added that, De Alba will be held to account thanks to the outstanding work by DEA special agents and prosecutors of his office. “A bright light has been shined on her illegal doings,” he said.

 

Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division (DEA) Ray Donovan, also stated that, anonymity is the only thing dark web drug dealers rely on and this case has proven that, it is a false security. He added that, law enforcement is devoted and committed to hunting down dark web drug traffickers as well as their distribution networks.

U.S woman

 Image source: www.kansas.com

De Alba’s dark web illegal drug scheme came to end as a result of an undercover sting by the Drug Enforcement Agency. According to the indictment, an undercover DEA agent, posed as a buyer on the dark web and scrolled through De Alba’s drug listings on the Wall Street Marketplace. The undercover agent, subsequently purchased 30 grams of heroin and 10 grams of methamphetamine on January 3 2019. The drugs amounted to $1,970 of which ‘RaptureReloaded’, requested he paid in Bitcoin.

 

The DEA agent made several other purchases and received a package a week later, shipped by ‘RaptureReloaded’ through the U.S. postal service to New York mailbox in Queens. The package contained heroin and methamphetamines, officials said.

 

According to prosecutors, DEA agents, intercepted and confiscated five packages containing fentanyl and methamphetamine pills between August 208 and January 2019. These packages were shipped from Canada and the Netherlands, en route to a Southern California apartment, owned by the De Alba’s deceased husband. Additional investigation revealed that, De Alba’s husband died in March 2018 and since then, she has used his identity and credit cards to fund her dark web illegal narcotics trade.

 

The US woman now faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and a lengthy maximum sentence of up to 100 years in prison if she’s convicted of charges against her. De Alba is a U.S. citizen who was living in Tijuana, Mexico and is now scheduled to appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge in Brooklyn Federal Court on January 9, 2019.

Source: Ny Daily News


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