San Jose Police Chief Releases Statement on Union’s Fentanyl Scandal 

Over the weekend, San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata made his first public statement following the arrest and firing of the San Jose Police Officers Association’s (SJPOA) Executive Director Joanne Marian Segovia. Segovia was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s (USAO) Northern District of California at the end of last month for an alleged multi-year scheme to purchase, smuggle, and distribute synthetic opioids like fentanyl throughout the country. 

Mata’s statement, which was posted to the San Jose Police Department’s (SJPD) media relations Twitter account, confirmed that Segovia’s arrest “has rightfully caused concern from our community that the actions of this one individual may be indicative of illegal activity or complicity by others.” Mata reassured the public that SJPD “will fully cooperate” with federal authorities but clarified that they “have not been asked for assistance.”  Mata further explained that his department has not received any information to indicate that any SJPD employee is suspected of wrongdoing.  

A press release by the USAO’s Northern District of California indicated that Segovia would face a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years if convicted.   

The USAO’s complaint alleges that “between October 2015 and January 2023, Segovia had at least 61 shipments mailed to her home from countries including Hong Kong, Hungary, India, and Singapore.”  Starting in July 2019, law enforcement officials intercepted at least five of these parcels, finding thousands of dollars of controlled substances. Segovia allegedly utilized the SJPOA’s address and UPS account to facilitate some of these shipments. 

The news of Segovia’s alleged crimes comes just after the County of Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed it had identified the County’s first death related to xylazine, or “tranq,” a flesh-eating drug increasingly mixed with fentanyl and heroin.