Home>Articles>San Jose Police Union Director Charged With Opioid, Fentanyl Smuggling Into U.S.

San Jose Police Officers' Association (SJPOA) executive director Joanne Marian Segovia (Photo: Linkedin)

San Jose Police Union Director Charged With Opioid, Fentanyl Smuggling Into U.S.

Joanne Segovia faces around 20 years in jail if found guilty

By Evan Symon, March 31, 2023 5:18 pm

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has filed a federal criminal complaint against San Jose Police Officers’ Association (SJPOA) executive director Joanne Marian Segovia earlier this week, charging her with allegedly importing synthetic opioids from overseas into the U.S, for distribution.

Segovia, who was placed on leave after the charges were filed, had been the executive director of the San Jose police officer’s union since July 2003, and was set to celebrate her 20th anniversary with the union later this year. At the time of the charges, Segovia was also working as an office manager for a law enforcement training company in San Jose.

According to a statement from the Department of Justice, Segovia had at least 61 shipments of opioids and other pills mailed to her home, originating from countries including Hong Kong, Hungary, India, and Singapore by using her personal and office computer between October 2015 and January 2023.

“The manifests for these shipments declared their contents with labels like ‘Wedding Party Favors,’ ‘Gift Makeup,’ or ‘Chocolate and Sweets,'” the Department of Justice said on Wednesday. “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.

“Also alleged is that Segovia used encrypted WhatsApp communications to plan the logistics for receiving and sending pill shipments. For example, the complaint describes a three-year period between January 2020 and March 2023 during which Segovia is alleged to have exchanged hundreds of messages with someone using a phone with an India country code. The messages discussed details for shipping and payment of pills and contained hundreds of pictures of tablets, shipping labels, packaging, payment receipts, and payment confirmations.”

Segovia also allegedly started using  her office at the San Jose Police Officers’ Association union to send off packages. Some packages of fentanyl sent elsewhere in the U.S. were found to have even been made using the UPS account of the SJPOA.

Segovia faces around 20 years in jail if found guilty

However, during the last few years, a Homeland Security investigation began cracking down  on a network using the Bay Area as a hub to bring in and ship drugs both nationally and abroad. Segovia eventually fell under suspicion, being interviewed by investigators last month. She was not charged then, but instead of stopping, Segovia continued her part of the network. That decision turned out to be part of her downfall as federal agents seized a parcel in Kentucky earlier this month containing valeryl fentanyl and addressed to Segovia. The package itself allegedly originated from China on March 10, 2023 and declared its contents as a “clock.”

This all led to her being charged this week. Segovia currently faces a maximum sentence of 20 years if convicted. In addition, she may also receive at least 3 years of a supervised release and pay a fine of up to $250,000.

Many in San Jose were shocked at the announcement earlier this week, especially as Segovia had been a leading figure in the union and for the police for the last few decades.

“Last Friday we were informed by federal authorities that one of our civilian employees was under investigation for distribution of a controlled substance and the POA has been fully and completely cooperating with the federal authorities as they continue their investigation,” noted SJPOA spokesman Tom Saggau. “The POA immediately placed the civilian employee on leave and as is standard procedure cut off all access to the POA.  No additional individual at the POA is involved or had prior knowledge of the alleged acts.  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.”

Others noted that her charges and possible jail time could bring some negative consequences both internally and politically.

“Whenever a situation like this happens, whether it is from a union official or from a politician, there is going to be a lot of fallout,” publicist Sarah Mahone told the Globe on Friday. “People this high up are usually in pictures with important people or gave speeches for each other, or things like that. So that is going to be a worry for many.

“More to that, San Jose is going to have a hard time reckoning with this. Police departments are only starting to recover on trust now following the protests of 2020, and this won’t exactly help. What she allegedly did is terrible, and if she is found guilty, she deserves to be punished. But there is going to be a lot of collateral damage from this too.”

The case against Segovia is expected to be heard in court soon.

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9 thoughts on “San Jose Police Union Director Charged With Opioid, Fentanyl Smuggling Into U.S.

  1. My, my. Such a fine upstanding citizen leader. A terrific role mole for the police officers and youth of the Bay Area [eye roll]. Definitely deserves facing the “Democrat’s Ass-Backward Rule of Law” as stated by Nancy Pelosi – “GUILTY until proven innocent”.

  2. More Democrat/China bombshells undoubtedly set to explode in California…
    Let’s explore Newsom’s sweetheart deal with BYD “Build Your Dreams” regarding C-19 PPE and train to nowhere components, too, shall we???

  3. Investigate this further and find out how many people died from these drugs (if any) and then charge her with murder.

    As for the collateral damage let the chips fall where they may. It takes more than one person to be a drug king pin.

  4. So she will be sentenced to time served and get farmed out into the education bureaucracy where losers wait out their retirement.

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