At the same time she was serving as a New York City police officer responsible for school safety, Tina Batista was helping her boyfriend sell more than a kilo of heroin.
On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Alison J. Nathan sentenced Batista, 37, to one year and one day in federal prison for her role in the heroin trafficking conspiracy.
In a Department of Justice news release announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Geoffery S. Berman emphasized his belief that Batista’s actions were made worse by the fact that she was a law enforcement officer working to protect New York City’s schools and children.
“She violated that trust by committing serious narcotics crime involving a large quantity of heroin and lying to law enforcement about her crime.”
According to court documents, Batista used her position as a police officer to assist Lazaro Mallet, her boyfriend, and Ruben Luciano De Los Santos to set up the heroin deal by using a supervisor’s security code to access the New York Police Department’s database.
The heroin deal was scheduled to go down on December 20, 2016. The news release indicates Batista, driving a vehicle with a visible NYPD logo and NYPD parking permit, took Mallet and De Los Santos to 115 and 5th Avenue in Manhattan where they met with a confidential source who was working for the federal government.
The deal was finalized in Batista’s police department vehicle, according to the news release, with Batista conducting much of the conversation in Spanish. The 1.3 kilos of heroin were in Batista’s Gucci shopping bag.
After the deal had been completed, law enforcement officers swooped in and arrested Batista, Mallet and De Los Santos.
During questioning, Batista lied to investigating officers, according to court documents, denying her role in the heroin conspiracy, denying that she spoke Spanish and claiming that the Gucci bag filled with heroin was not hers.
The NYPD fired Batista shortly after the arrest.
Mallet and De Los Santos pleaded guilty earlier. They will be sentenced at a later date.
After Batista completes her prison sentence, she will serve two years of supervised probation, according to the news release.
The case was investigated by the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York City Police Department and the New York State Patrol.