Dark web drug dealer to spend eight years behind bars

The sentenced drug trafficker used to distribute a variety of illegal drugs online, including fentanyl, heroin, MDMA, cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, and methadone.

Joanna De Alba, 40, who pled guilty in April 2021, will spend the next eight years in prison for “distributing, and possessing with intent to distribute, illegal drugs over the dark web.”

According to a US Drug Enforcement Administration press release, De Alba advertised and sold drugs on the dark web between June 2018 and May 2019 under the alter ego ‘RaptureReloaded.’

The DEA report states that De Alba used an array of digital tools to conceal her real identity, communicated with buyers using encrypted email services and private messaging apps, and took payments in cryptocurrency. She also allegedly used her deceased husband’s identity and credit cards to receive packages from her suppliers and to track of drug shipments.

According to federal agents, De Alba offered her customers free shipping to addresses in the US, as well as free tracking of all orders.

Over her year-long career as a dark web drug dealer, De Alba sold over 840 grams of heroin, 190 grams of methamphetamine, 1,250 pills of MDMA, and 280 pills of oxycodone.

Altogether, she made about 16.32 BTC and 400 XMR - worth more than $1 million today - on the Wall Street Market, a global dark web marketplace that had been seized in a joint operation between European and US authorities in 2019.

Wall Street Market seized image<br>
Image source: Europol

“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,” stated US Attorney Breon Peace. “This investigation and vigorous prosecution show that we will not allow the dark web to be a haven for drug traffickers.”

“This sentencing demonstrates that drug traffickers are not untouchable by dealing in the dark web,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan. “Attempting to hide through anonymity, De Alba became a parent’s worst nightmare by pushing fentanyl, heroin and other dangerous drugs into homes across our many communities. I applaud the DEA Cyber Investigative Unit New York Division and the US Attorney's Office Eastern District of New York for their commendable work throughout this investigation.”

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