Ralph Berrier, Jr.
AUTHOR

Ralph Berrier, Jr.

Ralph Berrier, Jr. is a features reporter for The Roanoke Times. He has written extensively about the music of Southwest Virginia and his work has earned more than 20 state and national awards, including those from the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Newspaper Association of America, the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, and the Virginia Press Association. He learned to play bluegrass fiddle from his grandfather, Clayton Hall, and great-uncle, Saford Hall, who are the subjects of his book, "If Trouble Don't Kill Me: A Family's Story of Brotherhood, War, and Bluegrass" (Crown, 2010). He lives in Roanoke, Va., with his wife and daughter. "Saltwater Cowboy: The Rise and Fall of a Marijuana Empire" (St. Martin's Press), a book he co-authored with Tim McBride, was published in 2015 by St. Martin's Press. The book tells the story of McBride's rise from low-level pot hauler along Florida's Gulf Coast in the early 1980s to the head of the smuggling organization, until he is finally brought down by the United States' "War on Drugs" and sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence. McBride's story captures the essence of the easy-money 1980s and recounts a time when good-ol'-boy pot smugglers became targets of the federal government.

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