DA Hoovler Announces 10 to 25 Year State Prison Sentence in Cocaine and Narcotic Pills Distribution Conspiracy Cases
Former City of Middletown Fire Department Lieutenant Previously Pled Guilty to Conspiracy in the Second Degree and Operating as a Major Trafficker
Defendant Sentenced to 10 to 25 Years in Prison and Forfeited $315,000 and Three Vehicles
“Operation Bread, White and Blues” Targeted Narcotics Distributors and
Outlaw Motorcycle Club Members
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, Paul Smith, 52, of Deerpark, who had been a paid Lieutenant with the City of Middletown Fire Department at the time of his arrest on February 5, 2019, was sentenced by Orange County Court Judge Craig Brown to a total of ten (10) to twenty-five (25) years in state prison to be followed by five (5) years of post-release supervision in connection with the enforcement action dubbed “Operation Bread, White and Blues.” On April 8, 2019, Smith pled guilty to Operating as a Major Trafficker and Conspiracy in the Second Degree. Smith was sentenced to eight and one third (8 1/3) to twenty-five (25) years in state prison on the charge of Conspiracy in the Second Degree and ten (10) years in state prison and five (5) years post-release supervision on the charge of Operating as a Major Trafficker. The sentences were ordered to run concurrently resulting in Smith having a combined sentence of ten (10) to twenty-five (25) years in state prison. Additionally, Smith agreed to forfeit $315,000 that he made from selling cocaine pursuant to the conspiracy, as well as a 2014 Dodge Ram pick-up truck, a 2008 corvette automobile, and a 2012 Harley Davidson motorcycle that he used to transport narcotics.
Indictments arising from the enforcement action outlined two separate conspiracies, one of which primarily involved members and associates of self-professed “outlaw” motorcycle clubs trafficking cocaine, and another of which involved the sale of narcotic pills which were represented to contain oxycodone, but which contained fentanyl, a highly addictive and frequently lethal narcotic. The name of the operation referred to the co-conspirators use of the term “bread” to mean money they obtained through the sale of narcotics, “white” to represent the cocaine which was sold, and “blues” to represent the blue colored pills which were being trafficked. Most of the defendants in the action were arrested in a series of early morning raids and search warrant executions which occurred on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.
On February 5, 2019, members of the New York State Police Community Narcotics Enforcement Team aided by the New York State Police Special Operations Response Team and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had executed multiple search warrants and made over twenty arrests throughout Orange County and Rockland County. The arrests and search warrant executions were a result of a six-month-long narcotics investigation. Law enforcement officials recovered more than $500,000, 25 handguns, one assault rifle, multiple rifles, ten vehicles, two motorcycles, over 2.5 pounds of cocaine and 1300 Fentanyl pills.
The New York State Police were assisted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
District Attorney Hoovler highly commended the New York State Police for their investigation given the complexity of the case.
Assistant District Attorney Neal Eriksen and Senior Assistant District Attorney David Byrne prosecuted the case.
“As a firefighter and first responder, Paul Smith knows better than most the dangers involved in ingesting the narcotics that he, and those he admitted were his co-conspirators, were selling,” said District Attorney David M. Hoovler. “It is unconscionable that someone who was paid to help others would be peddling these substances. Narcotics trafficking is destroying the fabric of our society, killing our residents, and must be fought at every level. It is only through enforcement actions such as ‘Operation Bread, White and Blue’ that law enforcement is able to pursue those higher-level drug dealers and craftier offenders who attempt to insulate themselves from criminal liability by dealing drugs through intermediaries.”
A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.