(LibertySociety.com) – Deaths from fentanyl poisoning have risen to catastrophic levels in the United States over the last two years. Earlier this year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged several Chinese companies that manufacture the precursors of the deadly drug. The DOJ also indicted several members of the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel for its role in using the precursors to make fentanyl and smuggle it into the United States. Nearly all of the 110,236 overdose deaths in the United States in 2022 involved fentanyl. The DOJ also recently announced a global coalition to disrupt the trafficking networks that distribute the drug around the world. The agency vowed to stop as much fentanyl as possible from making it to the United States.
Law enforcement officials are expected to help take the drug off the streets, but that was not the goal of former New York City Police Department officer Grace Rosa Baez. She and a man she lived with, Cesar Martinez, were indicted for selling fentanyl and heroin on October 20. Both were charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and three counts of distribution of narcotics. On multiple occasions, while Baez was at work, she and Martinez discussed the sale of $30,000 worth of fentanyl to a police informant. On October 19, Baez delivered 640 grams of fentanyl and around 401 grams of heroin to the informant. Following her arrest, police searched the apartment where the pair lived, discovering a kilogram press and more drugs.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams from the Southern District of New York announced the charges in a statement. He wrote about Baez’s oath of office, stating that she “flagrantly violated that oath by pushing poison.” A record number of fentanyl deaths in New York City occurred in 2022, with the deadly drug detected in 81 percent of the 3,026 deaths. All New Yorkers have been advised to carry a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of fentanyl, which can cause death even when unknowingly absorbed through the skin.
Copyright 2023, LibertySociety.com