Former Middletown fire lieutenant sentenced to prison for being major drug trafficker

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Paul Smith

GOSHEN – A former Middletown City professional firefighter who held the position of lieutenant was sentenced in Orange County Court on Wednesday for being a major drug trafficker and conspiracy.

Paul Smith, 52, of Deerpark, who was arrested in February 2019, was sentenced by Judge Craig Brown to 10 to 25 years in state prison. He must also forfeit $315,000 that he made from selling cocaine as part of the conspiracy, as well as a 2014 Dodge Ram pickup truck, a 2008 Chevrolet Corvette, and a 2012 Harley Davidson motorcycle that he used to transport narcotics.

Smith would hold nighttime meetings with his distributors at the central firehouse in Middletown. They were members and associates of the self-professed ‘outlaw’ motorcycle clubs trafficking cocaine.

A second conspiracy in which Smith took part was dubbed “Operation Bread, White and Blue” involving the sale of narcotics pills that were represented to contain oxycodone but contained deadly fentanyl.

The name of the operation referred to the co-conspirators use of the term “bread” to mean money they obtained through the sale of drugs, “white” to represent cocaine that was sold, and “blues” to represent the colored pills that were trafficked.

Most of the defendants were arrested in a series of early morning raids and executed search warrants on February 5, 2019, culminating a six-month investigation. Over 20 arrests were made in Orange and Rockland counties.

Seized in those operations were over $500,000, 25 handguns, one assault rifle, several other rifles, 10 vehicles, two motorcycles, over 2 ½ pounds of cocaine and 1,300 fentanyl pills.

Agencies involved in the investigation and arrests included the State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team, State Police Special Operations Response Team, the FBI, Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Orange County District Attorney and Sheriff’s Offices.