San Jose police union leader Joanne Segovia turns around and appears in court after allegedly importing and distributing drugs in the United States

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — The executive director of the San Jose Police Officers Association turned herself in Friday morning after allegedly importing drugs from overseas and distributing them nationwide.

Cameras were not allowed inside the federal courthouse on Friday as Joanne Segovia, 64, made her first court appearance since being charged.

RELATED: San Jose police union leader charged with attempted importation and sale of valeryl fentanyl, officials say

Segovia surrendered on Friday morning, hours before the court appearance.

According to that criminal complaint, federal investigators say Segovia was accused of attempting to import illegal synthetic opioid drugs from abroad, specifically a form of fentanyl. Federal prosecutors say it was part of a scheme to distribute them in the United States

According to the federal criminal complaint, Homeland Security agents were first driven to Segovia as part of an investigation into a ring they believe is shipping controlled substances manufactured in India.

Investigators say she used her home and office computers to order the drugs and agreed to distribute them elsewhere in the United States.

“It looks like a female version of ‘Breaking Bad’ when you look at someone who is the least likely of the suspects,” said legal analyst Steven Clark.

RELATED: Drug trafficking allegations against police union leader damage trust in SJPD, says former police auditor

The San Jose Police Officers Association said Thursday it had no knowledge of what its 20-year-old employee was doing.

“We are in the midst of our own internal investigation,” said Sean Pritchard, president of the San Jose Police Officers Association. “We want to make sure that we are thorough as we look at all the things that we learned through the federal investigation to make sure it’s all within the integrity of this union.”

So far, the POA says no agent information has been compromised.

They described Segovia as the “grandmother of the POA” who helped the families of deceased officers and organized fundraisers for officers who had sick children.

They didn’t know what his exact intentions were with the drugs.

Federal investigators say Segovia received 61 mailings to his home between 2015 and 2023 from multiple countries and found thousands of pills.

RELATED: 3 dead, 1 hospitalized in Santa Clara Co. suspected fentanyl overdoses, sheriff says

In initial interviews with investigators, Segovia denied any criminal activity before blaming her housekeeper.

ABC7 spoke to Segovia attorney William Edelman at the federal courthouse after his court appearance, he declined to comment.

Legal analyst Steven Clark said Friday’s court appearance could be the start of many other developments.

“It was a complaint, but now you will see an indictment, which I think will lead to many more charges against Ms Segovia.”

Segovia was released with no bail set, under strict conditions from the judge.

His next court appearance will be on April 28.

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