office manager Northern California Federal prosecutors said the police union imported illegal synthetic opioids from India and other countries and at least once used the union’s computer, work address and UPS account to ship the drugs within the country.
Federal prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday that Joan Marian Segovia, executive director of the San Jose Police Officers Association, has been charged with attempting to illegally import the synthetic opioid valerylfentanyl. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison.
Starting in 2015, Segovia had at least 61 drug shipments mailed to her home in San Jose from India, Hong Kong, Hungary, and Singapore with lists that listed their contents as “wedding party favors,” “gift makeup,” and “chocolate and sweets.” And a “dietary supplement,” according to A Federal criminal complaint exposed Tuesday.
It was not immediately known if Segovia, 64, had a lawyer who could speak for her.
Segovia, a civilian, has worked for the union since 2003, planning funerals for officers who die in the line of duty, being the liaison between the department and the officers’ families, said Tom Sagao, a spokesman for the San Jose police union. Organizing office celebrations and fundraisers.
He said that federal officials told the union last Friday that Segovia was under investigation and that no one else in the union was involved or aware of Segovia’s alleged actions.
Sagao said the revelation shocked her colleagues.
“We had no reason to suspect her,” he said, adding that the union’s board of directors pledged full support for the federal investigation.
Federal prosecutors said that in 2019, US Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted a package sent to her home address that contained $5,000 worth of Tramadol, Synthetic opioids, and sent her a message telling her that they were taking the pills. Court records showed that the following year, CBP again intercepted a shipment of $700 worth of tramadol and sent her a seizure letter.
But federal officials didn’t begin investigating Segovia until last year, when investigators found her name and home address on the cellphone of a suspected drug dealer who is part of a network that ships controlled substances. Made in India to the San Francisco Bay Area, according to the complaint. Federal prosecutors said the drug trafficking network distributed hundreds of thousands of pills in 48 states.
Prosecutors said Segovia used a WhatsApp messaging service and her personal and desktop computers to order thousands of opioid tablets and other pills to her home and agreed to distribute the drugs elsewhere in the United States.
On at least one occasion in 2021, prosecutors said, Segovia shipped the illegal drug to a North Carolina address using a police union UPS account. They said that address was linked to at least five seizures of illegal drugs.
Investigators found hundreds of images in a WhatsApp conversation on Segovai’s mobile phone, including a photo of a UPS shipping slip and another image of a computer screen showing PayPal payments to an Indian’s name and Segovia police union business cards underneath.
“Based on my training and experience, I know that shippers of controlled items often send receipts and tracking numbers as proof that they did, in fact, send a package. I believe the receipt that SEGOVIA provided as proof that it sent a package to the addressee from North Carolina,” wrote David Vargas , Special Agent for Homeland Security Investigations, in the affidavit.
According to the complaint, Segovia continued to order controlled substances even after she was questioned by federal investigators in February. On March 13, federal agents seized a package in Kentucky, containing valerylfentanyl, destined for Segovia. Prosecutors said the package came from China three days earlier and its contents were declared to be “a watch”.