A California police union executive director used her office to distribute drugs, according to a federal criminal complaint.
Joanne Marian Segovia, 64, has been the executive director of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association since 2003. On Wednesday, Segovia was charged with attempting to unlawfully import valeryl fentanyl from overseas. Segovia was allegedly exposed by a Homeland Security investigation into an illegal drug network operating in the San Francisco Bay area.
Segovia had been running an international fentanyl operation out of her home and her office, according to federal officials. Segovia was accused of using her personal and office computers to order thousands of illegal pills to distribute across the country.
The federal criminal complaint said Segovia sent a package to a woman in North Carolina and used the UPS account of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association to ship the controlled substances.
Between October 2015 and January 2023, Segovia had at least 61 shipments of drugs mailed to her home. The drugs were shipped from China, Hungary, India, and Singapore. The shipments of synthetic opioids were labeled with descriptions such as “Wedding Party Favors,” “Gift Makeup,” “Clock,” or “Chocolate and Sweets.”
The Northern District of California U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release, “But between July 2019 and January 2023, officials intercepted and opened five of these shipments and found that they contained thousands of pills of controlled substances, including the synthetic opioids Tramadol and Tapentadol. Certain parcels were valued at thousands of dollars’ worth of drugs.”
Segovia allegedly utilized encrypted WhatsApp communications to purchase and coordinate the transportation of the illegal pills. The California police union executive director exchanged hundreds of WhatsApp messages with someone using a phone with a country code from India, according to federal officials. WhatsApp messages purportedly had photos of shipping labels and payment receipts.
On May 2, 2022, Segovia allegedly wrote, “I’m so sorry, I’m on a business trip because we had 2 officers that got shot! I should be home tomorrow night so ill get them shopped as soon as I can.”
Despite being interviewed by federal investigators in February 2023, Segovia allegedly continued to run her international drug operation.
Federal agents seized a shipment of valeryl fentanyl from China that was addressed to Segovia on March 14, 2023, according to United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Tatum King. Segovia allegedly blamed her housekeeper for the package of valeryl fentanyl.
San Jose Police Officers’ Association president Sean Pritchard described Segovia as the “grandma of the POA.”
“This is not the person we’ve known, the person who has worked with fallen officers’ families, organized fundraisers for officers’ kids — just not who we’ve known over a decade,” Pritchard told KNTV.
Segovia faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a possible fine of as much as $250,000.
Segovia is scheduled to make her first court appearance on March 31.
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