Grace Rosa Baez, a 12-year veteran of the New York Police Department (NYPD), was arrested on October 19, 2023, and charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics and distribution of narcotics, including fentanyl and heroin.
The arrest came after Baez, 37, allegedly sold narcotics to an undercover informant on multiple occasions while on duty at the NYPD.
The Officer Provided Fentanyl Samples, Negotiated Heroin Sales with an Informant
According to court documents, Baez had numerous conversations with a confidential informant about selling kilogram quantities of fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine between October 9 and October 19.
On October 16, Baez allegedly met the informant in Yonkers and gave them a sample of fentanyl hidden inside a Mentos candy container. She claimed the fentanyl was “top quality” and offered to sell two kilograms for $30,000 each.
Baez later negotiated the sale of one kilogram of heroin for $25,000 and 800 grams of fentanyl, directing the informant to test the drugs’ purity before payment.
Suspect Conducted Deals While On Duty at NYPD Facility
Prosecutors allege Baez arranged meetings and negotiated prices over the phone and in person with the informant on several occasions while she was on duty at an NYPD facility.
At the time, Baez was restricted to modified desk duty following misconduct accusations in 2020. However, she continued to wear an NYPD uniform and badge while allegedly conducting the illicit deals.
Partner Also Arrested; Kilogram Press, Drugs Found in Couple’s Apartment
Baez’s boyfriend and alleged partner, Cesar Martinez, 43, was also arrested in connection with the drug trafficking conspiracy.
After arresting Baez during a sting operation on October 19, police searched the apartment she shared with Martinez and found a kilogram press machine and additional narcotics.
Official Vows to Hold Corrupt Cops Accountable Regardless of Position
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams condemned Baez’s alleged actions, saying she “flagrantly violated” her oath of office and that law enforcement would continue pursuing those who traffic deadly drugs “no matter who they are.”
Baez and Martinez face at least 10 years in prison if convicted. The case underscores the ongoing opioid epidemic, devastating communities across the United States.
Background – Opioid Crisis and Previous Allegations Against Baez
Baez was already under internal investigation by the NYPD for misconduct allegations in 2020 when she allegedly conspired to sell fentanyl and heroin.
The opioid epidemic has claimed thousands of lives annually in New York City and nationwide. Fentanyl, an extremely potent synthetic opioid, has been involved in many overdose deaths.
This is not the first time Baez’s conduct as an officer has come under scrutiny, though the drug trafficking charges represent an unprecedented level of alleged corruption if proven true.