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Executive Director of Police Association in California Charged in Multi-National Drug Smuggling Operation

by Kaden Gicker

The former executive director of the San Jose Police Officer’s Association (“SJPOA”) has been arrested for drug smuggling, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California. CBS News reports that Joanna Marian Segovia was charged with attempted smuggling for actions that spanned years. She had been the executive director of SJPOA since July 2003 but is accused of being an active drug importer for nearly half of that time. 

Segovia began having drugs in pill form delivered to her home around October 2015, and these drugs were imported from nations such as Singapore, Hungary, Hong Kong, and India. According to the accusations, Segovia imported the drugs and distributed them, including from her office at SJPOA. Ship manifests identified the drug containers as having innocent contents, including makeup products, candy, and “Wedding Party Favors.” Over seven years, Segovia received at least 61 packages containing drugs in the form of thousands of pills in all. 

Law enforcement officials began intercepting some of these packages in July 2019, and between then and January 2023, they caught at least five. In late 2022, Segovia herself came under criminal scrutiny, and she was interviewed by federal investigators in February 2023. However, she continued to order shipments even after that. During a March 14, 2023, interview, Segovia attempted to blame the scheme on her housekeeper and provided false information, according to an official. There were cash transactions and WhatsApp messages that confirmed the scheme. 

Segovia was soon arrested and charged with illegal importation of drugs, including valeryl fentanyl, and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. She was also fired from SJPOA. The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly continuing to investigate a network of drug smuggling into the Bay Area in California. 

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