Disgraced San Jose police union manager appears in court
Joanne Segovia walks away from the federal courthouse in San Jose on March 31, 2023 with her attorney, Will Edelman. Segovia, an office manager for the San Jose Police Officers' Association, is being charged by federal authorities with attempting to illegally import a form of the opioid fentanyl. Photo by Joseph Geha.

    Two days after federal prosecutors announced a bombshell drug charge against the San Jose police union’s office manager, she made her first appearance in court.

    Joanne Segovia, who the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged this week with attempting to illegally import a form of fentanyl, surrendered to authorities today at the federal courthouse on South First Street in San Jose. If convicted, Segovia faces up to 20 years in prison, officials said.

    Segovia, 64, timidly walked into the courtroom Friday, wearing a gray sweater, leopard print top, dark pants, black boots and was bound by shackles on her ankles. She didn’t say much, save for brief responses to Magistrate Judge Virginia K. DeMarchi who read Segovia her rights, laid out the charge filed against her and ordered she would be released on no bail following her appearance in court.

    Segovia’s next court appearance, a preliminary hearing, is set for April 28.

    Will Edelman, an attorney representing Segovia, declined to comment on his client’s alleged crime.

    Segovia is charged with one count of attempting to import valeryl fentanyl, though a 13-page criminal complaint filed Monday outlined several years of behavior federal investigators said is consistent with shipping and receiving illicit drugs.

    The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Segovia is alleged to have “used her personal and office computers to order thousands of opioid and other pills to her home and agreed to distribute the drugs elsewhere in the United States.”

    Authorities were alerted to Segovia while pursuing leads in an ongoing Homeland Security investigation into an international scheme to illegally import controlled substances into the San Francisco Bay Area from other countries.

    In at least one instance, Segovia is alleged to have used the police union’s UPS account and return address to ship a package to North Carolina, which investigators believe was a drug shipment.

    Investigators said Segovia lied to them when confronted, and tried to blame her housekeeper for the entire scheme.

    The complaint alleges Segovia continued to order controlled substances after being interviewed by federal authorities in February. A package labeled as containing a “clock” sent from China and addressed to Segovia was seized on March 13 by federal agents in Kentucky, which contained valeryl fentanyl, the attorney’s office said.

    Segovia, who is not a police officer, has worked for the San Jose Police Officers’ Association since 2003, serving as the “executive director.” Tom Saggau, a spokesperson for the union, previously told San José Spotlight that despite her title, Segovia was an office manager.

    Contact Joseph Geha at [email protected] or @josephgeha16 on Twitter.

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