Joanna De Alba, a 39 year old living in Southern California, sold heroin and methamphetamine on WallStreet Market under the username “RaptureReloaded,” according to a recently unsealed indictment in the Eastern District of New York. DEA investigators, during an investigation into the darkweb vendor, learned that De Alba had shipped hundreds of packages to customers throughout the United States.
The indictment charges De Alba with one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine; one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin; and one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and methamphetamine.
According to investigators with the Drug Enforcement Administration, De Alba sold had opened a WallStreet Market vendor account in 2018 and used the account until her arrest in May 2019.
“Reporting from Baja, CA, AZ, and NY! Have you ever paid attention to where your product is coming from Other than the purpose of shipping time? Allow us to put things into perspective for a sec. Colombian cocaine, California’s chronic, and Cuba’s cigars wouldn’t be notorious if not for their quality. We stand behind our products so much that we decided to centralize near the sources last year.”
— RaptureReloaded’s profile on WallStreet Market
The DEA made a series of undercover purchases in both 2018 and 2019 during their investigation into the market and its users. One of the final interactions between the DEA and RaptureReloaded resulted in a heroin delivery to a an address controlled by the DEA in New York.
Per RaptureReloaded’s instructions on his/her listings, the UC provided a shipment address in Queens, New York for the heroin. Upon entering the order 30 grams Of heroin, the UC was given an identification number for the transaction and a trade address where Bitcoin should be sent as payment. The UC was also told a price in Bitcoin based on the exchange rate at the time Of the purchase. The UC then Sent Bitcoin to RaptureReloaded via the escrow function on Wall Street Market, as requested.
De Alba allegedly used a third party service for generating shipping labels. According to the investigators, De Alba used credit cards instead of cryptocurrency to pay for the shipping labels (Other vendors featured in similar articles on OpenDark.Net regularly use services such as Bitcoinpostage.info or Stampnik. Another exception to this rule is Adderallz; they used Stamps.com.). She used credit cards linked to her name as well as cards linked to her late husband’s name, according to the criminal complaint.
On January 21, 2019, law enforcement detained De Alba a the San Ysidro Port of Entry after she had crossed from Mexico to the United States. Investigators questioned De Alba about several intercepted packages of methamphetamine and heroin from suppliers in Mexico, Canada, and the Netherlands. De Alba had allegedly shipped the packages to the apartment in California owned by her late husband, Brandon Unangst.
According to a post on Facebook by Joanna, Brandon had passed away on March 16, 2018. De Alba continued to use her husbands name, email addresses, and credit cards to fund the operation.
One seizure that occurred after her husband had died was reported as follows:
On November 6.2018, CBP had intercepted a package from the Netherlands that was addressed to Unangst at the San Ysidro Address. The package contained approximately 207 pills that tested positive for methamphetamine. Unangst had been reportedly dead for approximately eight months at the time the package was intercepted.
De Alba admitted controlling a P.O. Box at the San Ysidro Address
The accounts linked De Alba to the accounts used to purchase the shipping labels from the company used by RaptureReloaded. For example:
- An account ending in 1732 bears De Alba ’s cellular phone number and an email in the name of firstname.lastname@example.org;
- An account ending in 1719 bears an email in the name Ofjojojomojoemail@example.com. A review of De Alba’s Facebook page lists “jojomojosodope” as a nickname for De Alba.
- A user named “jojo mojo le dope” maintains a YouTube account that contains a profile picture that is similar to the logo used by Rapture Reloaded on Wall Street Market. Both accounts use a reversed capital R beside a normal capital R inside a five-pointed star.
- The YouTube account hosts a video titled “Newlyweds getting goofy!” featuring a male and female identified as De Alba and Unangst.
- An account ending in 1718 bears De Alba’ s cellular phone number and an email in the name firstname.lastname@example.org. De Alba’s Facebook page lists the ride-sharing company Lyft as her occupation.
The most openly incriminating account, however, was one ending in 1713. De Alba had allegedly opened the account under Ungangst’s name with the email address email@example.com.
An undercover agent had ordered a package of heroin from RaptureReloaded prior to De Alba’s detention at the U.S. border. The DEA never received that package. Investigators believe the detention had disrupted De Alba’s operation. The undercover agent sent an email address to RaptureReloaded at the ProtonMail address, asking about the uncompleted heroin order. The vendor returned the email and provided the investigator with a new email address to use, claiming her drug trafficking operation had experienced “technical difficulties.”
According to court documents, law enforcement had intercepted five packages of heroin and methamphetamine headed for Unangst’s address after Unangst had reportedly died. They had also completed four (recorded) undercover purchases of heroin and methamphetamine. All four packages contained the product advertised by RaptureReloaded.
On January 2, 2019, Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Ray Donovan, Special Agent-in-Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division (DEA), announced the charges against De Alba and released the indictment.
“As alleged, De Alba dispensed heroin and methamphetamine from the shadowy corners of the internet, believing that it provided anonymity to her and her customers,” stated U.S. Attorney Donoghue. “But thanks to the outstanding work by this Office’s prosecutors and DEA special agents, a bright light has been shined on her activities, and she will now be held to account for her charged criminal acts.”
If convicted, De Alba faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years. Sentencing guidelines allow for a statutory maximum sentence of 100 years in prison.
Criminal Complaint (.pdf)