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Cop Union Exec Busted in Drug Import Scheme Tried to Blame Her Housekeeper

By Justin Rohrlich,

LinkedIn/San Jose Police Officers’ Association

The executive director of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association (SJPOA) is accused of importing massive amounts of fentanyl and other illicit prescription drugs into the U.S.—even using her organization’s official UPS account as part of the alleged scheme—then blaming it all on her housekeeper when confronted by the feds.

For eight years up until January, Joanne Marian Segovia, 64, used her home and work computers to get multiple-kilogram shipments of medications, including Zolpidem, Tapentadol, and Tramadol, sent to her home and office from China, India, and other far-flung locales, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday in federal court . The packages were labeled as “Wedding Party Favors,” “Gift Makeup,” “Chocolate and Sweets,” and “Health Product,” the complaint states.

Segovia, who has been with the SJPOA since 2003, was swept up in a broader investigation by Homeland Security agents into a trafficking network shipping Indian-produced drugs into the San Francisco Bay Area, according to the complaint. When investigators searched and decrypted a “network operative’s” smartphone, they discovered two messages that identified a “J Segovia,” with an address in San Jose, it says. Agents then found dozens of parcels had been sent to Segovia’s home, according to the complaint.

On Feb. 1, Homeland Security agents interviewed Segovia for the first time. She insisted that she had ordered “supplements,” and that there was nothing unusual or “out of the ordinary” about it, the complaint states. She also allegedly claimed to “work for the police department,” and told the agents that she “had no idea why her name and address were found in the phone of a suspected drug trafficker,” it says. However, Segovia, who was about to leave for vacation, refused to show agents her CashApp transaction history, the complaint states.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

When Segovia returned, she called investigators and left a voicemail saying she “had information that could be helpful,” the complaint continues. She later told them the orders were for “another woman whom she identified as a family friend and housekeeper” who suffered from “a substance abuse disorder,” the complaint says

“[I]t all leads to her,” Segovia allegedly said, telling the agents that the notion occurred to her “like a light bulb” after the previous Homeland Security interview. Segovia also claimed the housekeeper had impersonated her on WhatsApp, which had been used to facilitate the deals, and was able to do so because “she knows so much about me,” according to the complaint. Segovia said she was reluctant to “throw [the housekeeper] to the wolves,” but told the agents she wanted to be “honest” with them.

Later in March, Segovia agreed to let agents look at her WhatsApp account. In it, they found messages about ordering prescription drugs and hundreds of images of pills, receipts, and shipping labels—among them, a UPS receipt with Segovia’s signature and a return address of 1151 North Fourth Street, the address of the SJPOA, according to the complaint.

In an Oct. 2021 chat detailed in the complaint, Segovia said, “Sorry, i had 50 new officers starting today so if I’ve been tied up all morning. I’ll be back on the office within an hour and I’ll take care of all of it! Any news on the soma??” In a May 2022 conversation, she allegedly said, “Im so sorry, im on a business trip because we had 2 officers that got shot! I should be home tomorrow night so ill get them shipped as soon as i can.” Last July, the feds say she wrote, “So i need to send you $900 for the orange pills that are on their way, are they on their way?? My [family member] is going on vacation so i want to give her enough to last but that is going to make me short, do you know when they are coming?”
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Even as she was being interviewed by investigators throughout March, Segovia continued to have pills shipped into the country, according to the complaint.

Then, on March 15, investigators were notified of a package seized in Kentucky that was addressed to Segovia’s home and was labeled ‘CLOCK.’ The package, from China, contained a disassembled clock kit with white adhesive stickers or patches on which a fentanyl-related substance was found, the complaint says. “I believe that Segovia stopped ordering controlled substances from her previous supplier (apparently based in India) after HSI Agents interviewed her in February 2023 and began to order controlled substances from a new supplier, who is shipping from China,” an agent wrote in the complaint.

Just over a week later, agents raided Segovia’s home and the San Jose Police Officers’ Association office, seizing hundreds of pills and a UPS receipt in her office file cabinet related to a shipment of pills she allegedly sent to a woman in North Carolina. Agents also discovered a CashApp transaction from March 23 they believe was drug-related, according to the complaint.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Segovia, who has retained counsel according to court filings but does not have a lawyer listed on the docket, is charged with attempting to unlawfully import the synthetic opioid valeryl fentanyl. She did not immediately respond to a voicemail The Daily Beast left on her phone seeking comment, or messages sent to her work email. If convicted, Segovia, who is due to appear in court on Friday, faces up to 20 years in prison.

In an interview Thursday with NBC Bay Area, SJPOA President Sean Pritchard called Segovia “the grandma of the POA,” and said the accusations do not sync up with “the person we’ve known, the person who has worked with fallen officers’ families, organized fundraisers for officers’ kids.”

On Wednesday, the SJPOA issued a statement saying federal authorities notified it last Friday about the Segovia investigation, and the union “has been fully and completely cooperating.”

“No other individual at the POA is involved or had prior knowledge of the alleged acts,” the statement said. “The POA immediately placed the civilian employee on leave and as is standard procedure cut off all access to the POA. The Board of Directors is saddened and disappointed at hearing this news and we have pledged to provide our full support to the investigative authorities.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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