A former New York Police Department (NYPD) officer is facing serious charges related to drug trafficking, with prosecutors accusing her of negotiating drug deals while on active duty.
Grace Rosa Baez, 37, a resident of the Bronx, was taken into custody on October 19 and charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl, along with three counts of narcotics distribution, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Baez’s alleged accomplice, Cesar Martinez, 43, who shared an apartment with her, is also facing identical charges.
The allegations against Baez, who had been with the NYPD since 2012, have sent shockwaves through the law enforcement community.
Prosecutors assert that Baez and Martinez engaged in multiple conversations with a confidential source working in cooperation with law enforcement, discussing “wholesale narcotics trafficking” starting in early October.
On October 11, Baez allegedly informed the informant that she could facilitate the sale of two kilograms of fentanyl for an estimated $30,000 per kilogram, in addition to 400 grams of heroin for an additional cost.
Perhaps even more disturbing is the revelation that Baez was allegedly involved in negotiating these drug deals while on duty.
On October 16, Baez met with this confidential source in Yonkers, near the apartment she shared with Martinez. During the meeting, she reportedly handed the source a plastic candy container, suggesting it contained a fentanyl sample.
Upon inspection, the container was found to hold a small, clear bag filled with a white powdery substance, later confirmed to be fentanyl.
Following Baez’s arrest, law enforcement officers approached the apartment shared by the former officer and Martinez.
They observed a package of suspected narcotics being thrown from inside the apartment to the outside.
Inside the apartment, officers discovered a kilogram press machine, 400 grams of heroin and 640 grams of fentanyl that Martinez had allegedly tried to discard.
The allegations against Baez and Martinez also indicate that they had offered to sell kilogram quantities of cocaine and additional narcotics alongside the other substances.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, in a statement, expressed his shock and disappointment regarding Baez’s criminal actions.
“Grace Rosa Baez took an oath to protect and serve the people of New York City. As alleged, she flagrantly violated that oath by pushing poison, including fentanyl and heroin, which are driving the nation’s deadly opioid crisis and have been responsible for thousands of tragic deaths in this city and around the nation.”
Williams added that his office, along with law enforcement partners, would aggressively pursue those involved in the trafficking of these deadly substances, regardless of their background or profession.
In response to the charges, Baez resigned from her position at the NYPD.
The former veteran NYPD officer had a troubled history with the department, being placed on modified duty in 2020 for misconduct.
Ironically, Baez had boasted on Instagram about being a cop, writing: “I will never apologize for picking a career I love to do. There’s always a bad one or two in the bunch, but that’s not me …”
The legal proceedings for Baez and Martinez are currently underway, with Baez potentially facing years in prison.