Police Union Official Used Home and Office for Massive Narcotics Ring, Feds Say

Joanne Marian Segovia blamed her housekeeper for the overseas shipments of drugs, including fentanyl, authorities say

The executive director of the San Jose Police Officers Association has been charged with facilitating a sprawling fentanyl and narcotics trafficking operation which shipped the drugs nationwide and included a new form of deadly fentanyl disguised as clock parts, according to a federal indictment.

Joanna Marian Segovia, 64, blamed her housekeeper when Homeland Security Investigations agents grilled her about the massive shipments of medications sent to her home and from the police union office. Packages arrived from China, India and other far-flung locales and included Adderall, Tramadol, Ambien, and fentanyl. They were sent in adhesive pads placed inside a disassembled clock, according to the indictment unsealed on Tuesday. Her packages were labeled as “Wedding Party Favors,” “Gift Makeup,” “Chocolate and Sweets,” and “Health Product,” the complaint states.

Segovia’s alleged scheme unraveled in late 2022 when HSI agents were investigating a network that was moving huge amounts of controlled substances. This involved synthetic opioids in the Bay Area—”hundreds of parcels destined to 48 states,” according to the indictment.

In that investigation, a suspected narco trafficker’s phone was seized and agents found encrypted messages between the dealer and J. Segovia, along with her address in San Jose. Customs and Border Protection then found her home address, “was the intended destination of five shipments that had been seized and opened.” Another 61 shipments from destinations across the globe were also sent to her home.

The feds showed up in February to interview Segovia, who claimed to “have only ordered supplements,” and insisted she worked “for the police department,” the indictment says. When asked why she was corresponding with a drug trafficker, “she claimed she had no idea,” according to the indictment. 

Federal officials left to continue building the international case when Segovia called them back in mid-March to say she “had information that could be helpful.” At this point, she began pointing fingers at her housekeeper. Yet, according to the indictment, she kept buying drugs.

The idea that her housekeeper must have impersonated Segovia, “came to her like a lightbulb,” the union official told the agents, adding that she “didn’t want to throw her to the wolves,” but her friend and sometimes maid had a drug problem. Only – by then, the feds had seized drugs sent to a North Carolina woman with a return address of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. Segovia, according to the indictment, even used a union-paid shipping label.

“Segovia insisted she was unaware,” of what the feds had uncovered about her using her police position to facilitate drug deals, “and tried to frame another individual.”

On March 15, federal officers seized a box addressed to Segovia’s home from China, which was labeled “Clock.” Inside was the “square and round white adhesive stickers” on which “the fentanyl-related substance was found,” along with Oxycodone. 

“I have not seen drugs sent in this form before,” the agent noted in the indictment.

Last week, federal agents executed search warrants at her home and office, where they found the phone number of one of her suppliers that coincided with a 2022 “police report from Alabama involving a victim who died of a drug overdose.”

In an interview with NBC in San Francisco, SJPOA President Sean Pritchard called Segovia “the grandma of the POA,” adding that his members were stunned by the allegations about someone who’s worked closely with cops for two decades as “a person we’ve known, the person who has worked with fallen officers’ families, organized fundraisers for officers’ kids.”

The union insists no sworn officers or civilians have been implicated and its members “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.”

Segovia was slated to appear in court on Friday on charges connected to unlawfully importing a controlled substance, which carries up to 20 years in prison.

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