Last spring, German authorities announced the elimination of Wall Street Market, one of the largest and most successful darknet marketplaces since the Silk Road itself.
Less than a year later, the investigation is yielding results beyond the technical team, who were arrested around the same time as the proprietors of Deep Dot Web.
Joanna De Alba, who lives in Tijuana but is an American citizen, has been indicted for allegedly selling thousands of opiates on the platform.
Widow Uses Dead Husband’s Documents to Sell Drugs
According to a press release from the Justice Department, De Alba is now wanted on several charges related to buying and selling drugs online.
De Alba’s husband passed away in March 2018, and shortly thereafter the woman began hustling opiates on the dark web.
Going by the handle RaptureReloaded, De Alba moved a significant amount of drugs, at one point selling 40 grams of heroin to a DEA agent in New York for about $2000 in cryptocurrency.
De Alba used the darknet’s Wall Street Market at a point long after the hey-day of online drug transactions. She is likely far from the last arrest to be made from the treasure trove of documents, databases, and other information seized by German authorities last spring.
Online Drug Community Increasingly in Crosshairs
Spring 2019 was an intensely interesting time for crypto true crime fans, with another major market, Dream, claiming to wind down operations.
The market’s closure seemed to coincide with other interesting events, like a global sweep of darknet operations which was initially ordered in 2017 by president Donald Trump.
Also last spring, police managed to shut down Wall Street Market. A market with a similar history in the game went out of business, but promised another to rise from its ashes.
This last part raised suspicions in darknet circles.
Indeed, from a law enforcement perspective, the ideal situation would be a darknet honeypot crafted by the drug enforcement agencies themselves. That might be the strategy employed in the Dream marketplace “shutdown,” goes the logic.
Whatever the case, the majority of the world’s addicts and dealers continue to use cash and in-person transactions, meaning the tiny online drug community is in a race with the clock.
The majority of the people who won’t be going to prison have long since gotten out of the game. Unlike regular, traditional drug transactions, online hustling involves a long paper trail that law enforcement loves.