PBA Grandma in Turf War with Aryan Prison Gang?
It may have been the oddest pair of takedowns in drug ring history. On the one hand, there were the 27 people tied to an Aryan prison gang. On the other, there was the PBA Grandma tied to China, India and, uh, Kentucky. Then again, far as we know Grandma may be tied to every state in the union!
After all, this wasn’t just any PBA Grandma. This was the 64-year-old Executive Director of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. Worse, Grandma had been at her top spot for two solid decades. That’s right. The “nice elderly lady” spent the last 20 years running drugs out of the San Jose PBA headquarters.
Let’s first take a look at our PBA Grandma’s northerly competition to see just what she was up against.
According to Fox 13 Seattle, a grand jury indicted a total of 27 people from Washington, Arizona, Idaho and Alaska. Over 20 of those indicted are Washington state residents. Once the indictments were handed down, law enforcement initiated a coordinated takedown.
Fox 13 again:
“On March 22, a coordinated takedown involving ten SWAT teams and more than 350 law enforcement officers resulted in the seizure of 177 firearms, 22-plus pounds of methamphetamine, 24.3 pounds of fentanyl pills and over two pounds of fentanyl powder, nearly seven pounds of heroin, as well as more than $330,000 in cash.”
The bounty was seized from 18 separate locations in Washington and Arizona.
This was in addition to the “830,000 fentanyl pills, 5.5 pounds of fentanyl powder, 223 pounds of methamphetamine, 3.5 pounds of heroin, five pounds of cocaine, $388,000 in cash, and 48 firearms” seized over the year of the drug ring investigation.
“The sheer amount of narcotics seized in this investigation is shocking,” said Jacob D. Galvan, Acting Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle. “The fentanyl seized in this operation contained enough lethal doses to kill everyone who lives in Tacoma and Seattle, with enough lethal doses left over to poison another half a million people.”
“This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation,” reads the Justice Department handout. “OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.”
Heavy emphasis on multi-agency
Though the investigation was led by the FBI, and included “critical investigative teamwork” from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Washington State Department of Corrections. There was “significant local assistance from the Tacoma Police Department, Pierce County Sheriff’s Office, and the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force, which is led by the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. It also included members from Washington State Patrol, Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine, Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, Lakewood Police Department, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).
“This operation is an example of the difference we can make when we collaborate to keep illegal guns and drugs from hitting our streets,” said Chief Avery Moore, Tacoma Police Department. “Guns and drugs have taken the lives of our loved ones, friends, neighbors, and community members. The contraband confiscated in this effort will not be allowed to harm anyone. The Tacoma Police Department, along with our law enforcement partners will not stop in the pursuit to bring those who set out to harm and exploit our communities to justice.”
As for our PBA Grandma, well… It’s not hard to see how or why a cop might go to the dark side, especially after seeing how much money of being made by the bad guys. The PBA family however faces no such temptation. In fact, they’re more likely to intervene when such a something is afoot, simply to save one of their own.
That goes double for a PBA Grandma.
Or it should go double anyway. The PBA Grandma is there to comfort her charges within the given police department, and to back them up in every way possible. To “protect those behind the badge,” says the Police Benevolent Foundation slogan.
- …provide financial support for the families of fallen law enforcement officers whose deaths occur in the line of duty
- …fund scholarships for children of law enforcement officers
- …educate law enforcement officers and their families about Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and Suicide Prevention
In other words, a PBA Grandma should above all be diametrically opposed to cops doing wrong.
Not This PBA Grandma
Our PBA Grandma is Joanne Marian Segovia. As mentioned, the 64-year-old has served as Executive Director of the San Jose Police Officers Association since 2003. Well, on March 29 our PBA Grandma was charged with attempting to unlawfully import a synthetic opioid called Valeryl fentanyl.
This wasn’t the first time either. Far from it. In fact, the criminal complaint claims that “at least 61 shipments containing drugs worth thousands of dollars coming from countries including Hong Kong, Hungary, India and Singapore were shipped to Segovia’s home between October 2015 and January this year.”
The shipments “were disguised as chocolates, wedding favors and makeup,” wrote CNN’s Alaa Elassar.
The United States Attorneys Office for Northern California concurs:
“The manifests for these shipments declared their contents with labels like ‘Wedding Party Favors,’ ‘Gift Makeup,’ or ‘Chocolate and Sweets.’”
The press release goes on to say that “between July 2019 and January 2023, officials intercepted and opened five of these shipments and found that they contained thousands of pills, including the synthetic opioids Tramadol and Tapentadol.”
Worse, not only did Grandma apparently use the San Jose PBA’s own UPS account to distribute the drugs, “but Segovia continued to order controlled substances even after being interviewed by federal investigators.” [emphasis added] Consequently, federal agents subsequently “seized a parcel in Kentucky, containing valeryl fentanyl, addressed to Segovia.”
“The package allegedly originated from China on March 10, 2023,” read the release, “and declared its contents as a ‘clock.’” The Feds had made their suspicions known to Segovia the month before.
Looks like our PBA Grandma thought she was above the law.
No One is Above the Law
While the PBA Grandma case may not pack the proverbial punch of a prison gang drug ring, it entails much the same consequences. Like the Aryan Family affair, Segovia’s drug distribution network stretched across multiple states. And of course, Grandma’s drugs were just as deadly, whether or not they arrived marked “Wedding Party Favors” or otherwise. So there’s no reason why both shouldn’t be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
To that end, Healing Properties applauds the U.S. Attorney Offices in both the Western District of Washington and the Northern District of California, we well as their affiliated law enforcement partners. These drugs kill people, even if they are doled out by a PBA Grandma.