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San Jose police chief responds to federal drug charges against former police union executive

PIX Now -- Sunday morning headlines from the KPIX newsroom
PIX Now -- Sunday morning headlines from the KPIX newsroom 10:02

SAN JOSE – San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata responded Saturday to an ongoing U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigation that has resulted in federal drug charges against the civilian executive director of the San Jose Police Officers' Association

Joanne Segovia, 64, of San Jose, has been charged with attempting to illegally import a form of fentanyl using her personal and office computers. The San Jose Police Officers' Association Friday said it terminated Segovia following an internal investigation into the federal drug charges. 

Mata took to Twitter Saturday afternoon in an attempt to reassure the public about the investigation. 

"The recent arrest of a civilian administrative employee of the San Jose Police Officers Association ... by agents of the Department of Homeland Security 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 posted. 

Mata repeated an earlier pledge to cooperate with the department of homeland security in the investigation.

He added, "To be clear, I have not received information that any employee, sworn or professional staff, of the San Jose Police Department is suspected of wrongdoing in connection with this investigation." 

The investigation into the police union is ongoing. An outside investigator will examine the extent that union resources were used, the union said in a statement Friday. 

The investigator, who has not yet been named, will look into the union's internal controls for "any changes that could have identified the alleged conduct sooner," union president Sean Pritchard said in the statement. 

Will Edelman, an attorney representing Segovia, did not immediately respond to a message sent Friday seeking comment.  

The union said the independent investigation will include a review of the collection and expenditure of union dues and political action committee receipts and expenditures. 

Segovia worked for the union since 2003, a spokesman said. 

Her alleged activities were uncovered during an ongoing U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigation into a network that was shipping controlled substances into the Bay Area from abroad, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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