Anna Sessom Baker, daughter of former Lemon Grove mayor and council member Mary Sessom, is in jail today. Yesterday (June 20),she, along with Jonathan Ibarra and Hector Fernando Garcia, were arraigned and charged with possession of 44.14 kilograms of fentanyl, with the intent to distribute it.
The United States Attorney's office says the seizure was one of the largest ever in the nation. Fentanyl is a fast-acting narcotic and sedative with a heroinlike effect, often used to boost the potency of heroin.
According to search warrant information, on November 30 of last year Ibarra received instructions that a female courier, later identified as Baker, would transport the narcotic in three separate trips on consecutive days. However, agents stopped Baker's rented vehicle and found 15 kilograms of fentanyl. Agents went to her house and found 30 more kilograms.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarad E. Hodes confirmed today that Baker is Sessom's daughter. The matter had come up in court yesterday. Mary Sessom served as mayor of Lemon Grove from 1996 to 2016. Earlier, she had been a council member. In her last term, she was chair of the San Diego Association of Governments Public Safety Committee. Records of the State Bar indicate she resigned in 2015 without any record of public discipline.
Her daughter Anna Sessom Baker is said to have run for Lemon Grove council, but I was not able to confirm that.
On May 30, Mary Sessom wrote an essay for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, adding her voice to those wanting statewide surveillance technology transparency in California. "In my more than two decades in elected service, technology has rapidly advanced, but state laws have struggled to keep up," she said. "Elected officials serve the people first and foremost, and they must recognize that acquiring surveillance technology requires a delicate balance between two public safety interests. On the one hand, the public needs law enforcement to combat crime. On the other, the public needs their privacy, and their sensitive information to remain secure and free from unnecessary collection."