The police union executive charged with repeatedly smuggling fentanyl into the United States over a yearslong span acted alone, San Jose Police Officers' Association President Sean Pritchard said he was told by federal investigators.
Reaction to the news of Joanne Segovia’s federal charges last week led many to speculate online that perhaps police officers played a role in her scheme, an implication the union’s president roundly denied.
“This is not a referendum on the hardest working men and women of law enforcement,” Pritchard said, adding that he learned from Homeland Security late Friday morning that there were no other individuals involved in the investigation.
Authorities say Segovia, who pleaded not guilty last week, ordered substances commonly used to make fentanyl from suppliers around the world. She allegedly had them sent disguised as wedding gifts and toys.
A married San Jose resident with children, Segovia has worked for the roughly 1,700-member union since 2003.
Homeland Security investigators say they discovered Segovia’s activity last year during an investigation into shipments of illegal drugs from India to the Bay Area. Between 2015 and 2023, Segovia had 60 parcels shipped to her home, according to the criminal complaint.
The police union fired Segovia on Friday, saying in a statement that it had launched an investigation to find out what the organization could have done to prevent the alleged illegal activity.
The union president expressed shock and disbelief about the alleged actions of a woman long trusted by local law enforcement and said he could not imagine her potential motivation.
“It’s not the individual that we have known, that so many people throughout the department have known for such a long time,” he said.
The association has removed Segovia’s bio from its website, but tax filings make it clear that she ran the organization’s finances.
Additionally, Segovia managed the organization’s charity arm for two decades, helping to organize funerals for officers who died in the line of duty.
She made $161,360 as executive director and oversaw a budget of $2.3 million and assets worth $1.3 million, according to the organization's 2020 tax filings.
Neither Segovia nor Homeland Security could be reached for comment.
Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at email@example.com