Yonkers Couple, Including NYPD Officer, Accused of Selling Large Quantities of Fentanyl and Heroin

An NYPD officer who was put on modified duty has been found to have conspired to distribute large quantities of fentanyl and heroin.

Last week, Damian Williams, the US Attorney for SDNY, made an announcement regarding the filing of a Complaint in Manhattan federal court. The Complaint charges GRACE ROSA BAEZ and CESAR MARTINEZ with the distribution of narcotics and conspiracy to distribute narcotics.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “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.  My Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue those peddling these deadly poisons – no matter who they are.”

The Complaint that was filed today in Manhattan federal court alleges the following: [1]

Between October 9, 2023, and October 19, 2023, BAEZ and MARTINEZ engaged in several conversations with a confidential source (CS) associated with law enforcement to discuss wholesale narcotics trafficking. They offered to sell kilogram quantities of fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine to the CS during these conversations. On October 11, 2023, BAEZ informed the CS that she could provide them with two kilograms of fentanyl for $30,000 per kilogram. Additionally, she agreed to sell 400 grams of heroin at a price to be negotiated later and offered to provide the CS with a sample of the fentanyl. BAEZ emphasized the quality of the fentanyl and directed the CS to meet her on October 16, 2023, to obtain a sample of the drugs that were available for sale.

BAEZ and the CS had a meeting in Yonkers, New York, around October 16, 2023, close to the shared apartment of BAEZ and MARTINEZ. At the meeting, BAEZ gave the CS a plastic candy container, and pointed out that the fentanyl sample was inside. The bottle had a small, clear bag filled with a white powdery substance, which was later confirmed to contain fentanyl. The image below depicts the container.

In October of 2023, BAEZ informed the CS that she had a sample of heroin prepared and requested a meeting in Yonkers. During the encounter, BAEZ provided the CS with a clear plastic bag containing a white powdery substance that was later confirmed to be heroin. BAEZ also mentioned that she had more heroin available for sale and offered to provide the CS’s phone number to her boyfriend, MARTINEZ.

On October 17th, 2023, MARTINEZ contacted the CS to sell about one kilogram of heroin and 800 grams of fentanyl. He also mentioned that he would have cocaine available for sale in the upcoming weeks. Later that day, MARTINEZ informed the CS that he and BAEZ could sell one kilogram of heroin for approximately $25,000 and an additional 800 grams of fentanyl, with the pricing to be negotiated later. MARTINEZ instructed the CS to evaluate the quality of the fentanyl and pay BAEZ and MARTINEZ accordingly.

Around October 18, 2023, BAEZ and MARTINEZ engaged in discussions with the CS regarding narcotics transactions, which included bargaining over prices. BAEZ and MARTINEZ stated to the CS that they would offer around 400 grams of low-quality heroin and an extra sample of fentanyl.

In Yonkers, on October 19, 2023, BAEZ and the CS met up to finalize the narcotics deal. During the exchange, BAEZ gave the CS several packages containing suspected narcotics. One of the packages was labeled “#1” and appeared to contain one kilogram of suspected heroin. Another package labeled “400” contained 400 grams of suspected heroin. BAEZ also handed over a package labeled “640 MANZANA,” which contained 640 grams of suspected fentanyl. Additionally, BAEZ provided a separate sample of suspected fentanyl, as shown below:

Law enforcement officials approached the shared apartment of BAEZ and MARTINEZ after BAEZ’s arrest and noticed a suspicious package being thrown from inside to outside the apartment. Upon entering the apartment, they found a kilogram press machine and additional suspected narcotics which MARTINEZ had apparently tried to discard outside.

Prior to her arrest, BAEZ served as a police officer for the NYPD starting in 2012. However, in 2020, allegations of misconduct surfaced, leading to an investigation by the NYPD. As a result, BAEZ was placed on modified duty. It’s important to note that at the time of her arrest for selling kilogram quantities of narcotics, BAEZ was still assigned to modified desk duty at a specific NYPD facility as of October 2023.

While on duty, BAEZ engaged in some of the aforementioned offenses. One instance was on or about October 11, 2023, when BAEZ communicated with the CS to arrange a meeting regarding the drug sales. Additionally, on or about October 13, 2023, BAEZ negotiated the quality and price of the fentanyl and arranged to provide a sample to the CS. Finally, on or about October 18, 2023, BAEZ negotiated the final delivery with the CS.

Two individuals, BAEZ, aged 37, hailing from the Bronx, New York, and MARTINEZ, aged 43, of Yonkers, New York, are facing charges in the court. Count One alleges that they conspired to distribute fentanyl and heroin, while Counts Two, Three, and Four accuse them of narcotics distribution. The first and fourth counts mandate a minimum of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum life sentence, while the second and third counts carry a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars.

Since 2015, the CS has been sharing information with the FBI and receiving financial compensation in return. The CS had previously been convicted of federal narcotics offenses in the same year. The information provided by the CS has been reliable and was validated through recordings and events independently corroborated by law enforcement.

In a subsequent interview with law enforcement agents, MARTINEZ willingly waived his rights and revealed that he had been engaged in a romantic relationship with BAEZ for about three years. He also disclosed that he resided in the Apartment.

After her arrest, Baez made the decision to resign from her position with the NYPD.

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