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California Man Sentenced in Tacoma for Drug Distribution, Money Laundering, and Human Smuggling Scheme


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Andre Jackson, a 28-year-old man from California, has been sentenced to over five years in prison for his involvement in a large-scale drug distribution, money laundering, and human smuggling operation. His activities, which included delivering drugs and coordinating the smuggling of non-citizens, were closely tied to a Mexican drug cartel.

Drug Operations and Arrest

Jackson was identified as a significant player in drug trafficking within the Kitsap and Pierce County areas of Washington state. He managed the delivery of drugs from California to Washington under the direction of a Mexican-based supplier known as “Pacheco.” In August 2021, Jackson delivered 3,500 fentanyl pills at Tacoma Mall to an undercover officer, followed by a smaller delivery in Bremerton. These transactions were key in building the case against him.

Tacoma Courthouse

In November 2022, Jackson was indicted and arrested. By February 2024, he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to transport non-citizens for profit. His operations spanned multiple locations, using social media to recruit drivers for smuggling and wiring drug proceeds back to Mexico through services like MoneyGram, CashApp, and Western Union.

Human Smuggling Activities


Jackson's criminal activities were not limited to drug trafficking. He also facilitated the smuggling of non-citizens across the U.S.-Mexico border. By recruiting drivers through social media, he arranged for these individuals to be transported from near the border to various destinations in the United States. Several of these drivers were apprehended by law enforcement with non-citizens in their vehicles, further implicating Jackson in human smuggling.

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This dual involvement in drug distribution and human smuggling highlighted the extent of Jackson's criminal enterprise. His actions exploited vulnerable individuals and posed significant risks to community safety.

Sentencing and Implications

On June 5, 2024, Jackson was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 66 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release. Chief U.S. District Judge David G. Estudillo underscored the dangers of Jackson's activities, noting that both drug dealing and human smuggling are harmful and exploitative.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Hobbs emphasized Jackson's significant role in the operation, stating that Jackson was more than just a street dealer or courier. He was in direct contact with the drug trafficking organization leader in Mexico and played a critical role in the logistics of drug distribution and money laundering.

Broader Investigation and Additional Sentences

The investigation into Jackson's activities was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and led to federal charges against three other individuals. Jason Baker received a 61-month sentence, while Ashley Chico and John Irias-Mejia were each sentenced to 18 months in prison. This case highlights the collaborative efforts of law enforcement to dismantle complex criminal networks and hold those involved accountable.

Jackson's sentencing serves as a reminder of the severe consequences of engaging in such illegal activities. It also underscores the ongoing challenges law enforcement faces in combating drug trafficking and human smuggling, particularly when these operations are linked to international cartels.

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