In April of 2004, he was assigned as the Special Agent in Charge of the excavation of a burial site in the Mojave Desert where ten victims of the serial killer known as the Poet were discovered. In that capacity he had ad hoc supervisory status over Rachel Walling. They clashed several times, in part due to her personality and in part because he is threatened by strong women. Alpert viewed Walling as a loose cannon that would bring nothing but headaches to his case. She viewed him as an example of the Bureau's unchecked arrogance.
Throughout the case Alpert was behind the curve and struggling to catch up with Walling and Harry Bosch.