NARCO NANA Joanne Segovia's billion-dollar drug empire leaves family and authorities in shock

NARCO NANA Joanne Segovia's billion-dollar drug empire leaves family and authorities in shock
Joanne Segovia, 64, has been accused of distributing drugs throughout the country (Joanne Segovia/LinkedIn)

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA: The executive director of San Jose's Police Officers Association turned herself in on Friday, March 30, after allegedly importing drugs from overseas. 64-year-old Joanne Segovia has been accused of distributing these drugs throughout the country. She reportedly turned herself in hours before the court appearance.

The criminal complaint says Segovia was charged with trying to import illegal synthetic opioid drugs from overseas, specifically a form of fentanyl. According to federal prosecutors, her acts were part of a scheme to distribute the drugs across the country. It has been revealed that Segovia worked for a police union. She faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.


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'Our family is very shocked'

Segovia led a double life, fooling her friends and family into believing she led a normal life. From late 2015 through January 2023, she allegedly accepted at least 61 illegal drug shipments from Hong Kong, Hungary, India, and Singapore. People who knew her are now baffled.


According to Irma Segovia Sweat, Segovia's husband's cousin, she and her husband Domingo were not facing financial issues. She noted, however, that Segovia dealt with an illness about three years ago. “They didn’t need any money,” Sweat said. “They both had made really good money and didn’t need anything.”

“We are still trying to wrap our heads around everything because that is so not her,” a different relative, Segovia’s niece, told New York Post. “Our family is very shocked and surprised. No one knew anything!” Segovia, who worked as the executive director of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association, never gave any indication that she may be involved in such a crime.


'We just got to let the justice system run its course'

“She is the sweetest lady ever, very loving, very giving, very family-oriented,” Segovia’s niece, who has not been named, said. “She’s a very awesome lady. That’s why we are, like, all surprised and can’t believe it.”

Her niece added that Segovia's husband, 79, had no idea about his wife's crimes. Federal prosecutors said the shipment of drugs was marked as “wedding party favors” or “chocolate and sweets". “My uncle would never allow that, nor participate in anything like that,” Segovia’s niece said. “He’s a very successful man — knowledgeable and smart. I can guarantee 1,000,000% he had no clue about that.”


Speaking about the news about Segovia, the niece said, "I was in a state of shock. I had just woken up in the morning and I had messages from family members. Nobody wants to believe it, but we just got to let the justice system run its course. And our family’s going to need a lot of healing because their name is being dragged across the country over this whole ordeal.”

Sweat said she did not believe Domingo knew anything. “He is just a really good man and if he found out something like that, I don’t think he would ever put up with it,” Sweat said. “I am as shocked as everyone else — and actually, none of us believe it.”


'It was utter disbelief'

Segovia, a grandmother of two, reportedly worked for the San Jose Police Officers’ Association since 2003 as a civilian employee, where she oversaw the front office and supervised two other workers, spokesman Tom Saggau said. “When the news broke, it was utter disbelief,” Saggau said. “That’s now turned to anger due to the alleged deception and what the accusations detail. Every cop goes to work trying to get fentanyl and other drugs off the street, so you do feel a little betrayal.”

Saggau said Segovia was the union’s “front face". She was the first person to greet office visitors. “Everyone knew who Joanne was,” Saggau said. “You’d walk in the door and there’d always be a pleasant conversation or she’d ask about your family. She was just very personable, she was nice, she would bring in cookies and candy. So, when this broke, everybody was like, ‘What are you talking about? This can’t be.’”


Special Agent David Vargas said Segovia used supplies from the police associations in an attempt to run her drug business. “Based on my training and experience, I believe that Segovia was using a computer at her home, and another at her office, to pay for shipments of controlled substances,” Vargas wrote in an affidavit. The complaint details how, back in 2021, "Segovia was told by a supplier to send a package to a woman in North Carolina. Segovia then sent this supplier a photograph of a shipment made using the UPS account of San Jose Police Officers’ Association.” Some of the packages discovered contained thousands of synthetic opioid pills.

Denying the allegations, Segovia pinned the blame on her housekeeper, whom she said was the mastermind. Former NYPD officer Bill Stanton said Segovia's actions are "insidious". “The villain doesn’t always wear a black suit with a top hat and a handlebar mustache,” Stanton said. “It’s incumbent upon all of us to realize that.”


San Jose’s mayor, Matt Mahan, said the charges against the suspect were “incredibly disturbing". “No one is above the law, regardless of who their employer is,” Mahan said. “I want to thank US Attorney Ramsey and his colleagues for aggressively pursuing the sources of fentanyl coming into our communities and holding drug-dealers accountable.”

San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata confirmed that Segovia was never employed by the department. "This news is disheartening and comes as a shock to me and the leaders and membership of the SJPOA,” Mata said.

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 Joanne Segovia's billion-dollar drug empire leaves family and authorities in shock