Inside the Secret Life of ‘Drug-dealing’ Grandma Joanne Segovia

Loved ones of a California grandmother accused of leading an international fentanyl distribution ring say they were shocked to learn of her alleged secret life dealing drugs, the New York Post reports.

In interviews with the news outlet, family members of 64-year-old Joanne Marian Segovia, who worked as the leader of a local police union, said the allegations against her have been difficult to fathom.

“They didn’t need any money,” one relative told the Post, referring to Segovia and her husband, Domingo. “They both had made really good money and didn’t need anything.”

Another family member told the news outlet: “We are still trying to wrap our heads around everything because that is so not her. Our family is very shocked and surprised. No one knew anything!”

Last week, federal prosecutors charged Segovia with attempting to illegally import a controlled substance into the United States. The criminal complaint alleges that between October 2015 and January 2023, Segovia accepted at least 61 shipments from ports around the world at her home in a gated neighborhood of San Jose.

The shipments are said to have contained thousands of pills of controlled substances, including the synthetic opioids Tramadol and Tapentadol, according to the Department of Justice.

Segovia’s day job was as executive director of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. Prosecutors allege that she used her work computer at times to order valeryl fentanyl pills and other drugs, labeling them as “chocolate and sweets,” “gift makeup” and “wedding party favors,” according to court records.

The complaint accuses Segovia of also using encrypted WhatsApp messages to coordinate the drug shipments.

The woman’s husband, Domingo, 79, allegedly was not aware of his wife’s activities, family members said.

“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,” one family member told the Post. “I am as shocked as everyone else, and actually, none of us believe it.”

Despite the damning allegations, Segovia has reportedly denied the charges. In February she allegedly told federal agents that she had only ordered “supplements” and said “I wouldn’t even know where to start” in response to the accusation that she was illegally distributing prescription medication, according to ABC News.

The shipments continued even after authorities interviewed Segovia in February. Investigators in Kentucky seized a package that appeared to be a clock from China but in fact contained valeryl fentanyl, court records allege.

In a later interview, she pointed the finger at a family friend who worked for her as a housekeeper, asserting that person had a substance abuse disorder.

Segovia has been released without bond and is on paid leave from her position at the police union pending the results of an internal investigation. She could be sentenced up to 20 years behind bars if she is convicted.

A spokesperson for the police union said no one there had any idea of the allegations against Segovia.

“It makes it incredibly hard to understand what was going on,” spokesman Tom Saggau told the Post. “She was like the grandma of the POA. No one’s going to think Grandma is dealing fentanyl.”

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[Feature Photo: Joanne Marian Segovia/LinkedIn]