Police Union Director Charged With Smuggling Fentanyl To The US

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Erinn Broadus Investigative Reporter
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UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect a statement from the San Jose Police Officers Association.

The Police Union Director for San Jose Police Officers’ Association (SJPOA) was charged with smuggling fentanyl into the U.S., according to the Washington Examiner.

Joanne Segovia, police union director, has been charged with using her personal and official computer to acquire thousands of opioid pills with plans to distribute them, the Washington Examiner reported. Segovia allegedly has had at least 61 shipments delivered to her home from October 2015 to January 2023.

Ismail Ramsey, United States Attorney, and Charge Tatum King, Homeland Security Special Agent, announced a federal complaint against Segovia on Wednesday. She has been charged with attempting to unlawfully import valeryl fentanyl. (RELATED: FDA Approves Over-The-Counter Opioid Antidote As Fentanyl Deaths Surge)

Segovia sent herself shipments from all over the world, including Hong Kong, India, and Singapore, with shipments labeled “Wedding Party Favors,” “Chocolate and Sweets,” and “Gift Makeup.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern California intercepted five of those shipments and found thousands of dollars worth of pills, including the opioids Tramadol and Tapentadol, according to the complaint.

“The complaint alleges that Segovia used her office at the San Jose Police Officers’ Association to distribute controlled substances. For example, in spring 2021, Segovia was told by a supplier to send a package to a woman in North Carolina. Segovia then sent this supplier a photograph of a shipment made using the UPS account of San Jose Police Officers’ Association,” said the press release from the United States Attorney’s Office.

Segovia allegedly used WhatsApp, an encrypted messaging software, with a phone number with an India country code to facilitate shipments, according to the press release. If convicted, Segovia faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and may pay a fine of up to $250,o00.

“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. The POA immediately placed the civilian employee on leave and as is standard procedure cut off all access to the POA,” said Tom Saggau, spokesperson of the San Jose Police Officers Association, to Daily Caller News Foundation.
“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,” said Saggau.

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