Feds Release New Info on Ralo’s Case, Tracked Him Since His 2018 Tour

New records in Ralo’s marijuana trafficking case have revealed details that have never before been made public, including that federal agents tracked him on a trip from Georgia to an area of Humboldt County, California, known as “Murder Mountain.”

 

A 77-page court record, filed this week by a federal judge, offers new insight into the lengths that federal prosecutors went to arrest Ralo and his 13 co-defendants. The court records detail two searches of Ralo’s private jet by federal agents, five months apart, in which nearly 1,000 pounds of marijuana were seized.

Agents monitored Ralo’s Instagram postings, tracked his location using the GPS signal of his phone, and conducted in-person surveillance of him during an April 2018 tour that included stops in California, according to the records. The records also detail how Ralo made references to losing $1 million after more than 500 pounds of pot were seized from his private jet in December 2017.

In April 2018, agents were reportedly watching when Ralo’s jet landed in Sacramento and when he and “several members of his entourage” rented vehicles and made the five-hour drive to Humboldt County, where they visited a remote section of an unincorporated area known by the nickname Murder Mountain.

It is an area known for two things: large-scale legal and illegal pot farms and mysterious killings dating back to the 1980s, including a string of serial murders by two men and the disappearances of marijuana growers and trimmers presumed to have been killed and buried in the woods.

“Agents were not visually surveilling Davis at this point but were tracking him through location-monitoring of his cell phone, for which they had a search warrant,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Baverman wrote in the document. “Cell phone coverage around Murder Mountain was described by [ATF] Agent [James] Nash as ‘sporadic’; nonetheless, the agents had a ‘good idea of a good area’ where Davis was located.”

After trailing the group’s return trip to Sacramento, agents allegedly watched them load 17 packages onto the plane. After searching the plane, authorities determined the packages contained 440 pounds of marijuana, and Ralo was discovered to be hiding in the cargo hold, according to Baverman.

Based on all this, Baverman concluded that Ralo was operating a “substantial” marijuana business that shipped weed between Northern California and Georgia, using charter planes that “landed at relatively small airports before sunrise” and whose passengers took the “very unusual” step of unloading cargo themselves rather than seeking help from airport crews.

Ralo has recently indicated his willingness to plead guilty to at least one charge, according to court records, though details of a plea deal have not yet been made public.

He has spent the last two years in jail, during which time he came close to gaining freedom; last year, a federal magistrate approved Ralo’s release, but a higher-court judge overruled the decision when prosecutors appealed. In their appeal, prosecutors accused Ralo of using a contraband Apple watch and coded messages to set up drug deals from jail.

Written by: Nate Gartrell

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