Grace Rosa Baez, who served as an NYPD police officer since 2012, has been accused of conspiring to distribute fentanyl and heroin, as well as engaging in multiple instances of narcotics distribution. Her boyfriend, Cesar Martinez, has also been charged with similar offenses.
🔥🚨DEVELOPING: Veteran NYPD officer Grace Rose Baez boasted about loving her job and was arrested for allegedly selling ‘top quality’ fentanyl, heroin all while on duty. pic.twitter.com/FPXac4Ha7R
— Dom Lucre | Breaker of Narratives (@dom_lucre) October 21, 2023
These revelations have sent shockwaves through the NYPD and the local community, raising concerns about the integrity of law enforcement.
The nerve the audacity to write on her page #Bluelivesmatter when she had no respect for anyone and the NYPD The Title of being an officer does not apply to this convict. Grace Rose Baez pic.twitter.com/7zcWhvVyll
— Yvette Cruz (@YvetteC55697281) October 23, 2023
According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Baez and Martinez had been in communication with a source — who was actually a police informant — regarding wholesale drug trafficking.
Over a period of several days in October, Baez and Martinez allegedly discussed the sale of “kilogram quantities of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine” with the source. Baez even claimed to have high-quality fentanyl available for purchase.
Baez met with the confidential source in Yonkers on Oct. 16 near her shared apartment with Martinez. During their meeting, Baez reportedly gave the source a sample of the drugs. Subsequent testing confirmed the substance to be fentanyl.
Following Baez’s arrest, law enforcement officers observed a package of suspected narcotics being thrown from the couple’s apartment. Upon searching the premises, they discovered a kilogram press machine and more suspected drugs that Martinez had tried to get rid of.
The charges against Baez and Martinez came after the NYPD launched an investigation in 2020 in response to allegations of misconduct against Baez.
“Until her arrest Thursday, Baez had been employed with the NYPD since 2012, said the complaint, but was recently on desk duty following accusations of misconduct that first surfaced around 2020.”
— Talia Jane ❤️🔥 (@taliaotg) October 21, 2023
As a result of the investigation, Baez was placed on modified duty before ultimately resigning from the NYPD. The department has expressed deep concern over the allegations and emphasized its commitment to rooting out corruption within its ranks.
AUSA: My understanding is that the investigation of Baez 3 years ago was for consorting with gang members and drug dealers.
[Echo of US v Mestre case Inner City Press first covered https://t.co/j9OqYAUMUc
— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) October 20, 2023
NYPD Police Commissioner Edward A. Caban stated in a press briefing:
“These charges are extremely troubling because there is no place for corruption within the NYPD. If found guilty of these allegations, this officer will have tarnished the shield that she wore, as well as her sacred oath to New Yorkers. She and her co-defendant will certainly be held to the highest account provided by the law.”
The arrest of a former NYPD officer on drug trafficking charges raises significant concerns about the integrity of law enforcement and the potential for corruption within the system. Baez’s alleged involvement in the distribution of deadly narcotics speaks to the devastating impact of the ongoing opioid crisis, which has claimed thousands of lives in NYC and across the nation.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams expressed deep concern over Baez’s alleged actions, stating:
“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”
He added, “My Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue those peddling these deadly poisons — no matter who they are.”
The court of public opinion is rallying against dirty cops, but some X users have been quick to point out Baez isn’t the only one.
Larry Davis was coerced into selling drugs for dirty cops in the NYPD; he profited $1,000,000 off working with them. After deciding to quit he was framed.
Attempting to arrest him, he had two guns, gave them six shots to the face, and beat the case.
— Boss (@_ValTown_) October 22, 2023
The case against Baez and Martinez brings attention to the broader issue of the opioid crisis in the United States. Fentanyl, in particular, has emerged as a deadly substance contributing to the alarming number of overdose deaths.
According to provisional data from New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, there were 3,026 overdose deaths in the city in 2022. Fentanyl was detected in 81% of those drug overdose deaths.
The impact of the opioid crisis is felt across diverse communities, with a disproportionate number of deaths occurring among Black and Latino New Yorkers. This crisis has prompted health officials to issue advisories recommending the carrying of anti-overdose nasal sprays and the awareness of their usage.
The arrest of a former NYPD officer on drug trafficking charges is a stark reminder of the challenges faced in combating the opioid crisis and maintaining the integrity of law enforcement agencies.
The allegations against Grace Rosa Baez and Cesar Martinez serve as a call to action for increased efforts to address the underlying causes of drug addiction and implement measures to prevent corruption within the police force.
As the legal proceedings unfold, it is essential to remember the thousands of lives lost to the opioid crisis and the critical role of community engagement in finding sustainable solutions. The U.S. The Attorney’s Office Narcotics Unit is still working this case.