A convicted drug trafficker who accepted bitcoin for narcotics will spend the next eight years behind bars.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York, Joanna De Alba received the sentencing on Wednesday, nearly two years after being indicted on charges of “distributing, and possessing with intent to distribute, illegal drugs over the dark web.”
Federal agents say De Alba peddled illegal substances—including fentanyl, heroin, MDMA, cocaine, and meth—on a dark web marketplace between June 2018 and May 2019 under the moniker “RaptureReloaded.” During that time, De Alba reportedly offered a number of perks to customers, including free shipping within the U.S. as well as free tracking all around the world. The 40-year-old allegedly contacted buyers through encrypted emails and instructed them to pay for the contraband with cryptocurrency.
According to the feds, De Alba was involved in more than 600 transactions on the “Wall Street Market,” selling over 840 grams of heroin; 190 grams of meth; 1,250 MDMA pills; and 280 oxycodone pills. She was also accused of selling more than 750 fentanyl pills that were “disguised” as oxycodone.
“This sentencing demonstrates that drug traffickers are not untouchable by dealing in the dark web,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge 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 Cyber Investigative Unit- New York Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of New York for their commendable work throughout this investigation.”
De Alba is a U.S. citizen who resided in Tijuana, Mexico, during her dark web activity. She originally faced up to 100 years in prison.