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Press Release

California man sentenced for drug distribution, money laundering, and human smuggling scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Delivered fentanyl pills to distributors in Kitsap and Pierce Counties

Tacoma – A 28-year-old California man was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 66 months in prison and four years of supervised release for dealing fentanyl, laundering drug money, and arranging for people to be smuggled across the U.S. Mexico border, announced U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Andre Jackson was identified as a key distributor of narcotics in the Kitsap County and Pierce County areas. At the sentencing hearing Chief U.S. District Judge David G. Estudillo said, “Drug dealing is of course dangerous” and when you engage in human smuggling “you were making money off of vulnerable people."

According to records filed in the case, Jackson was in contact with a Mexican-based source of supply named “Pacheco.” Working at Pacheco’s direction Jackson coordinated the delivery of drugs from California to Washington State and the laundering of drug proceeds back to Pacheco, and his associates, in Mexico. At times, Jackson would deliver drugs in person from California to Washington. For example, in August of 2021, he delivered 3500 fentanyl pills to a person working with law enforcement. That deal was conducted at the Tacoma Mall. Later that day, he made a second smaller drug delivery to a codefendant at a grocery store parking lot in Bremerton.

The investigation also revealed Jackson wired drug proceeds from multiple Bremerton and Silverdale, Washington, locations to individuals in Mexico. Throughout August, September, and October 2021, Jackson sent money to sources in Mexico via Money Gram, CashApp or Western Union from various locations in Kitsap and Pierce Counties.

Finally, during the drug and money laundering investigation, law enforcement identified Jackson as someone facilitating the smuggling of non-citizens across the U.S./Mexican border. Jackson used various social media channels to recruit drivers who would smuggle non-citizens across the border or pick them up near the border and drive them north. A number of the recruited drivers were apprehended by law enforcement with the non-citizens in their vehicles.

Jackson was indicted and arrested in November 2022. In February 2024, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to transport certain non-citizens for profit. Other individuals charged federally in this investigation include Jason Baker (61-month sentence), Ashley Chico (18-month sentence), and John Irias-Mejia (18-month sentence).

In asking for a 6-year-prison sentence Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hobbs wrote to the court, “Most basically, Jackson was involved in the distribution of significant quantities of fentanyl pills and likely other drugs. The Court is certainly aware of the dangers that controlled substances – particularly fentanyl – pose to those who use them. But Jackson was not just a street dealer or simple courier. He was in direct contact with the DTO leader in Mexico and played a knowing and significant role in transporting drugs from California to Washington, distributing the drugs in this State, and sending the proceeds back to Mexico.”

The case was investigated by HSI.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Hobbs.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated June 7, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Human Smuggling