Fentanyl-Dealing California Police Union Official Charged

Caden Pearson
By Caden Pearson
April 1, 2023California
Fentanyl-Dealing California Police Union Official Charged
A case full of bags of fentanyl pills is shown after being seized by the DEA in Los Angeles. (Courtesy of DEA Los Angeles)

A California police union official has been accused of importing fentanyl from India, China, and other countries and then shipping it around the United States from her home in San Jose.

Joanne Marian Segovia, 64, the executive director of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, was charged on March 27 for importing synthetic opioids into the country.

Officials have said Segovia used her personal and work computers to order thousands of pills to her house, which she then sent out all over the United States.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California’s office said in a statement that Segovia was caught as part of an ongoing Homeland Security investigation into a network that was shipping drugs into the San Francisco Bay Area from overseas.

Officials allege that Segovia had at least 61 shipments sent to her home between October 2015 and January 2023 from countries like China, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Canada, and Singapore. The shipments were labeled as things like “Wedding Party Favors,” “Gift Makeup,” or “Chocolate and Sweets.”

“In my training and experience, such a large number of parcels, from such a diverse array of foreign countries, and with labels like these, are often indicative of illicit drug shipments,” an unidentified Special Agent wrote in an affidavit about Segovia.

Alleged Shipments

According to the affidavit filed by federal prosecutors, Homeland Security agents were investigating a drug smuggling ring from late 2022 involved in shipping opioids from India to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Agents found hundreds of parcels intended to be sent to 48 states from this network. Segovia’s name and address were found on the phone of an operative from the network with a message to send “180 pills SOMA 500mg” to the union official’s address.

Authorities intercepted and opened five shipments between July 2019 and January 2023 and found they contained thousands of pills of controlled substances, like the synthetic opioids Tramadol and Tapentadol.

Segovia allegedly used encrypted WhatsApp messages to plan the logistics for receiving and sending the pill shipments, according to a complaint. It also accused her of messaging someone in India hundreds of times between January 2020 and March 2023.

Officials have said Segovia distributed the drugs from her office at the police union.

She allegedly sent a package to a woman in North Carolina at the request of a supplier. Then she sent a picture of the shipment to the supplier using the UPS account of the police union.

A federal agent wrote in an affidavit that Segovia used her official office to ship drugs, based on a San Jose Police Officers’ Association shipping label being used on a package.

In one instance in June 2021, an image was sent from Segovia’s Whatsapp showing a PayPal payment confirmation on a computer screen. A letter opener and business card with the police union’s name rest in front of the computer.

Another photo from the smartphone shows a computer with a heart-shaped sticker which agents identified as one in Segovia’s private residence.

Claims in Interviews

Even after federal investigators interviewed her in February, Segovia kept ordering drugs, authorities allege.

Most recently, federal agents found a package in Kentucky with valeryl fentanyl from China on March 13, labeled as a “clock.”

According to the complaint, during the interview, Segovia claimed to have no idea why her name and address were found in the phone of a suspected drug trafficker.

She also allegedly claimed to “work for the police department.”

After returning from a vacation, Segovia told federal agents on March 14 that it had occurred to her “like a light bulb” that a woman she identified as a family friend and housekeeper was the likely culprit.

“It all leads to her,” Segovia said, according to the agent’s affidavit.

During that second interview, the agent said Segovia claimed the housekeeper had a substance abuse disorder and made inconsistent statements about whether she had used her smartphone to order the drugs.

Segovia allegedly said she didn’t want “throw [this woman] to the wolves” but that she wanted to be “honest,” the agent wrote.

Segovia was charged with trying to unlawfully import valeryl fentanyl and could face up to 20 years in prison if she’s found guilty. She could also have to do at least three years of supervised release and pay a fine of up to $250,000.

From The Epoch Times

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