US attorney Prerak Shah said Jackson worked with drug dealers to “further break the law” and benefited from it.
A lawyer in Dallas was charged with laundering drug trafficking proceeds, acting US attorney Prerak Shah said.
Rayshun Jackson, the 51-year-old attorney at the helm of the Jackson law firm, was arrested Wednesday and charged with money laundering on a criminal complaint, the US prosecutor said.
Jackson first appeared in federal court on Friday morning.
Shah said Jackson worked with drug dealers to “keep breaking the law” and benefited from it.
“Lawyers swear an oath to behave with integrity and uphold the rule of law. Mr. Jackson instead ignored his oath by allegedly laundering money for alleged drug dealers, ”said Shah.
Jackson emerged during the DEA’s yearlong investigation into a large opioid distribution ring. A senior trafficker offered to introduce an undercover agent to someone who could launder drug sales, the US attorney said.
Money laundering is a key factor in the transportation of illicit drugs, Eduardo Chavez said in a press release. He is the special agent responsible for the DEA in Dallas.
“The global drug trade depends on criminal money launderers to make poorly earned profits and to weave a fictitious web of companies and bank accounts to appear legitimate,” Chavez said, but filling his own pockets is a true travesty of the law. “
When asked if he knew anyone who was able to launder around half a million dollars in “drug money”, the US attorney’s office replied that he knew “business people” who “would do it for a fee”.
“He will clean it. He’ll wash it, “the dealer said to the undercover agent in August 2020.” I don’t know the pros and cons. He’s the lawyer. “
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Two weeks later, the dealer accompanied the undercover agent and a confidential source to Jackson’s Dallas office, where, according to the US Attorney’s Office, the dealer vouched for the trustworthiness of the undercover agent. The undercover agent, who still poses as a drug dealer, said Jackson had to clean about “half a million a month”.
“It’s direct drug money,” said the undercover agent.
“I don’t care where the money comes from,” replied the lawyer.
The couple allegedly negotiated a 4% plus bonus fee to allow the defendant to launder the money, US prosecutors said.
Officials said Jackson proposed setting up a “Shell Corporation” as well as a cash business like a coin laundry or car wash that would make it difficult for authorities to track the proceeds.
Jackson told the agent he could get everything up and running in two to four weeks, according to officials. The couple reportedly agreed on a $ 100,000 trial run with more to follow, and the undercover agent left the office with the dealer and a confidential source.
“This guy led us. We are successful because of him, ”the dealer told the undercover officer after they left. “Ray is the bomb. He’s a thug, he just got a law degree. “
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In late September, US prosecutors said the undercover agent had again traveled to Jackson’s office to deliver $ 100,000 in cash from drug sales.
Before the undercover handed over the money, Jackson tried to clarify his long-term commitment to organizing the drug trade, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
“I can go out anytime, right? As long as you have your money “the lawyer allegedly asked.
“I know we can be perceived as threatening, but we are not savages,” replied the undercover agent. “So when you’re ready to be ready, we’ll be done.”
The undercover agent then handed Jackson a black backpack containing the cash. Jackson reportedly took the bag and looked inside. Jackson warned the undercover agent and confidential sources to speak in code if they contacted him. He also told them he would not add anything substantial to any text, officials said.
“You take care of me and I will take care of you,” Jackson reportedly told the undercover agent before leaving.
The following month, officials said a Jackson law firm bank account made three deposits totaling $ 95,000 in a hidden DEA bank account. Jackson reportedly kept $ 5,000, 4% commission plus a 1% bonus.
In late November, federal officials said the undercover agent returned to Jackson’s office to deliver $ 300,000 in cash for drug sales.
The US prosecutor said the undercover agent was concerned that Jackson could give anyone access to his bank accounts as the amount of money increased. Jackson told the undercover that he was “in full control and only in control”.
Jackson allegedly began transferring the money to the black backpack he had kept from the previous transaction and then paused to ask if the undercover had taken steps to make sure the money didn’t smell like narcotics, said the US Attorney’s Office. The agent said he did it.
Officials said Jackson continued to put cash in the backpack and tried to close it. When the undercover agent offered to have the confidential source brought Mr. Jackson to his vehicle, officials said the attorney laughed and said, “Nobody knows, I take things down all the time.”
In the following three months, a Jackson law firm bank account made eleven additional deposits totaling $ 285,000 into covert DEA bank accounts, according to the US Attorney’s Office. Each deposit was less than $ 50,000, just as Jackson had promised. Jackson is said to have kept another 5% or $ 15,000.
If convicted, Jackson faces a prison sentence of up to 20 years for each washed transaction.
The DEA’s Dallas Field Office conducted the investigation with the assistance of the IRS – Criminal Investigations and the Dallas Police Department. U.S. Assistant Attorney Courtney Coker, Assistant Chief Detective of the Northern Texas District, is pursuing the case along with U.S. Assistant Attorneys Juanita Fielden and Nashonme Johnson.