In a surprising turn of events, a 64-year-old grandmother has been charged with federal offenses for allegedly importing and distributing the synthetic opioid Valeryl fentanyl.
The suspect, Joanne Marian Segovia, is also a former executive director of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association
Neighbors in Segovia’s gated San Jose community likened the shocking revelation to the television show “Breaking Bad.”
Described as a typical, friendly grandmother, Segovia’s arrest has left her neighbors stunned. Federal prosecutors allege that between October 2015 and January 2023, Segovia received at least 61 packages at her home from countries including India, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, and China.
The packages were labeled as containing items like wedding party favors, makeup, supplements, and sweets. However, nvestigators claim the packages actually contained deadly synthetic opioids and potent painkillers such as Tramadol and Tapentadol.
When initially questioned by officers, Segovia attempted to blame her housekeeper for the packages. However, during a second interview, she maintained her innocence and claimed that her housekeeper, a family friend with a substance abuse disorder, had access to her personal smartphone and her CashApp and WhatsApp communications.
Despite meeting with agents twice, Segovia continued to correspond on WhatsApp with someone in India in March 2023. Homeland Security Investigations revealed hundreds of messages referring to pills, as well as shipping and payment details.
Segovia allegedly sent packages she received from India to a woman in North Carolina, but these were intercepted by agents. The return address on the packages showed the address of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, where Segovia had worked for 20 years.
Segovia appeared in court and was released without bond, placed under supervised release, and ordered not to travel outside of Northern California. April 28th is the date of her next court appearance.
Sam Pritchard, president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, expressed anger and disappointment at the situation, noting that Segovia had been a beloved figure within the organization for over a decade.