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Photo of Paul S. Seema
Photo of Paul S. Seema

Paul S. Seema

Special Agent

February 07, 1936 - February 06, 1988

Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Paul S. Seema of the Los Angeles Field Division, died on February 6, 1988, of gunshot wounds he received the previous day during an undercover operation. He was 51 years of age at the time of his death. Special Agent Seema was a native of Thailand. He began his career working intelligence for the United States military in Southeast Asia and, in 1976 after joining DEA, he was assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Thailand. While serving with DEA in Bangkok he gathered intelligence on international narcotics organizations and worked with Thai police officials and DEA agents in the United States to dismantle heroin trafficking groups that posed a serious threat to America. On February 5, 1988, Special Agent Seema was one of three undercover agents negotiating with a Taiwanese criminal group to purchase heroin for $80,000. The agents met the trafficker and went with him to a quiet Pasadena neighborhood to pick up two pounds of heroin. Unbeknownst to Special Agent Seema and his fellow undercover agents, the traffickers planned to rob and kill them for the money. Special Agents Seema and George Montoya were shot and killed in an ambush. Special Agent Seema died the following day, one day after George Montoya passed away from gunshot wounds. Special Agent Seema was loved by his colleagues who remember his ability to make people laugh and look past the horrors of the drug world. In 1988, Special Agent Seema was posthumously awarded the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association's Medal of Valor. Special Agent Seema was survived by his wife, Joy; two sons, Jayson and Santi; and a brother, Whitney. Each year proceeds from the Paul Seema-George Montoya Golf Tournament are donated to the DEA Survivors Benefit Fund.
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