SJPOA executive turns herself in, appears in court after being charged in drug distribution scheme

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Saturday, April 1, 2023
SJPOA executive turns herself in, appears in court
San Jose's POA executive Joanne Segovia turned herself in after allegedly importing drugs from overseas, distributing them throughout U.S.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The executive director of San Jose's Police Officers Association turned herself in Friday morning after allegedly importing drugs from overseas and distributing them throughout the country.

Cameras were not allowed inside the federal courthouse Friday as 64-year-old Joanne Segovia made her first court appearance since being charged.

RELATED: San Jose police union exec charged with attempt to import, sell valeryl fentanyl, officials say

Segovia turned herself in Friday morning, hours before the court appearance.

According to this criminal complaint, federal investigators say Segovia was charged with attempting to import illegal synthetic opioid drugs from overseas, specifically a form of fentanyl. Federal prosecutors say it was part of a scheme to distribute them in the U.S.

According to the federal criminal complaint, Homeland Security agents were first led to Segovia through an investigation that looked into a network they say ships controlled substances made in India.

Investigators say she used her personal and office computers to order the drugs and agreed to distribute them elsewhere in the U.S.

"This is looking like a female version of 'Breaking Bad' when you look at someone who is the least likely of suspects," said legal analyst Steven Clark.

RELATED: Drug smuggling allegations against police union exec hurts trust of SJPD, former police auditor says

Former San Jose Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell reacts to drug smuggling allegations against SJPOA Executive Director Joanne Segovia.

The San Jose Police Officers' Association said Thursday that they had no knowledge of what their 20-year employee was doing.

"We are in the midst of our own internal investigation," said Sean Pritchard, President of the San Jose Police Officer's Association. "We want to make sure that we're being thorough as we look back through all of the things that we've learned through the federal investigation to ensure that everything is in the integrity of this union."

So far the POA says no officer information has been compromised.

They described Segovia as the "Grandma of the POA" who used to help fallen officers' families and organize fundraisers for officers who have sick children.

They did not know what her exact intentions were with the drugs.

Federal investigators say Segovia had 61 shipments mailed to her home between 2015 and 2023 from multiple countries and found thousands of pills.

RELATED: 3 dead, 1 hospitalized in Santa Clara Co. suspected fentanyl overdoses, sheriff says

In initial interviews with investigators, Segovia denied criminal activity before later placing the blame on her housekeeper.

ABC7 spoke with Segovia's attorney, William Edelman, at the federal courthouse following her court appearance, he declined to comment.

Legal analyst Steven Clark said Friday's court appearance could be the start of many more developments.

"This was a complaint, but you will now see an indictment, which I think will bring many more charges to Ms. Segovia."

Segovia was released with no bail amount set, under strict conditions from the judge.

Her next court appearance is on April 28.

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