Saturday, February 9, 2019

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Middletown fire chief says department “does not tolerate” illegal activity of lieutenant

MIDDLETOWN – Following the arrest of Middletown City Fire Lt. Paul Smith this week on charges of being a major drug dealer, Fire Chief Don Luis said on Thursday that the department’s members “do not tolerate what one firefighter from the department has done.”

In a Facebook post, Luis said the 100 volunteers and 28 career staff “take our jobs very serious and we are dedicated to every single member of our department.”

The chief’s message also goes out to the neighboring departments that they work with daily. “We are still here offering the help as we always have when you are faced with the dangers of any alarm that comes in.”           

Luis said the Middletown department “is here to protect and serve the citizens of the City of Middletown as we always have for over 150 years. Please do not let the actions of one person deface the whole fire department that is truly here t make Middletown a better safe place to live.”

Mechanicstown Fire Chief Dominick Guardino, 55, was also identified by police as one of the major operators in the drug bust dubbed Bread-White and Blues.

A total of 29 people are charged with drug related offenses. One of the three suspects who remained at large turned himself in on Friday. Gary Caldwell was charged with two counts of conspiracy, one with intent to perform.


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