SJ Police Union Exec Accused of Smuggling Medication as Marriage ceremony Items, Chocolate

The highest government for San Jose’s police union imported artificial opioids over an eight-year interval to orchestrate a nationwide drug ring that disguised packages of capsules as wedding ceremony items, make-up and chocolate, federal officers stated Wednesday.

Joanne Marian Segovia, the 64-year-old government director of the San Jose Police Officers’ Affiliation, used her residence pc and police union gear to facilitate the mailing of the artificial opioids, in accordance with the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace. The drug smuggling allegedly happened from October 2015 to January 2023, with Segovia facilitating greater than 60 shipments from Hong Kong, Hungary, India and Singapore.

In a three-and-a-half-year interval ending in January, officers allegedly intercepted 5 shipments to Segovia that contained hundreds of capsules, together with artificial opioids Tramadol and Tapentadol. Opioid overdose deaths have reached epidemic ranges throughout the nation, significantly in San Francisco. Since 2019, greater than 2,000 individuals within the metropolis have died—usually after overdosing on the artificial opioid fentanyl.

A lady who didn’t need to use her identify injects fentanyl into her arm on a curb within the Tenderloin District on Monday, July 4, 2022. | Benjamin Fanjoy for The Normal

Segovia allegedly used the encrypted messenger WhatsApp to deal with logistics, exchanging a whole lot of messages with somebody utilizing a telephone with an India nation code. The messages—containing transport and fee particulars, footage and receipts—continued into this month even after federal investigators interviewed Segovia in February, prosecutors stated.

On March 13, federal brokers in Kentucky seized a package deal that contained valeryl fentanyl and was addressed to Segovia, officers stated. The package deal originated from China and the contents had been listed as a “clock.”

Segovia was charged with making an attempt to unlawfully import valeryl fentanyl, in accordance with a grievance that was unsealed Tuesday. The grievance alleges Segovia was apprehended as a part of an ongoing Homeland Safety investigation into managed substances being shipped into the Bay Space from overseas.

Will Edelman, an lawyer listed for Segovia in courtroom data, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Edelman beforehand labored as a federal prosecutor in the identical U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace that charged Segovia, in accordance with his LinkedIn profile.

The grievance in opposition to Segovia stated that she informed federal investigators she had nothing to do with the drug smuggling and blamed the shipments of capsules on a lady she recognized “as a household buddy and housekeeper.”

Segovia allegedly informed investigators that after their February assembly, she realized “like a light-weight bulb” that it should be this unnamed lady who smuggled the medicine.

Nevertheless, the grievance casts doubt on Segovia’s statements and contains photographs that she allegedly despatched to a collaborator. One picture reveals a pc with police union work supplies in view and one other reveals her signature on a packing slip despatched from the police union deal with.

A federal grievance in opposition to Joanne Segovia features a image she allegedly despatched in WhatsApp conversations with a suspected collaborator in drug smuggling. The packing slip contains the deal with for the San Jose police union headquarters. | Screenshot

Tom Saggau, a spokesperson for the San Jose Police Officers’ Affiliation, stated the union grew to become conscious of the alleged crimes on Friday and has been cooperating with federal authorities.

“Nobody on the POA is concerned or had prior information of the alleged acts,” Saggau stated. “The POA instantly positioned the civilian worker on go away and as is customary process lower off all entry to the POA. The board of administrators is saddened and dissatisfied at listening to this information, and we now have pledged to supply our full assist to the investigative authorities.”

If convicted, Segovia might withstand 20 years in jail and a high-quality of as much as $250,000.

Josh Koehn will be reached at [email protected]