Authorities said a Georgia man could face up to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to running a multistate drug trafficking operation from prison, using cellphones and drones.
Daniel Roger Alo, 46, pleaded guilty Monday to drug and weapons charges, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Edward Tarver said. Alo was serving a sentence for a kidnapping conviction during the commission of the crimes.
“This defendant is an example of the enormous challenges that our law enforcement partners face in their fight against illegal drugs in our communities,” Tarver said. “Alo used readily available technology (drones and cell phones) to continue his substantial criminal behavior even while confined in a secure state prison. It is necessary and appropriate that his next stop be a federal prison.”
Alo and 15 others, including $3 million lottery winner Ronnie Music, were indicted on the charges in September. Authorities said Music used his winnings to buy drugs from the drug ring. Music is in prison awaiting sentencing.
According to a release from Tarver, Alo admitted to forming a drug trafficking operation with gang members inside and outside the prison. Alo also used drones to smuggle cellphones and other contraband inside the prison, Tarver said.
Alo used the cellphones to coordinate the drug deals while outside members distributed crystal meth in Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and other parts of the Southeast, authorities said.
Officials had already seized nearly $600,000, 11 pounds of methamphetamine and 10 guns from five of Alo’s co-conspirators in a 2015 undercover drug sting in Brunswick.
After the investigation, Tarver said authorities seized more than 15 pounds of methamphetamine, $600,000, two drones, rounds of ammunition, multiple cars and 15 firearms, which were either stolen or had sawed off.
Tarver said Alo could face between five and 40 years in federal prison. He will be sentenced after the U.S. Probation Office completes its pre-sentence investigation.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.