NYSP: Firefighter, Police Part Of Huge Hudson Valley Drug Ring
"Operation Bread, White and Blues" lead to 29 arrests, including a local firefighter and police officer, who are all accused of being part drug selling conspiracies in the Hudson Valley.
Felony complaints show two separate conspiracies, one of which primarily involves members and associates of self-professed “outlaw” motorcycle clubs trafficking cocaine, and another of which involves the sale of narcotic pills which were represented to contain oxycodone, but which contained fentanyl, a highly addictive and frequently lethal narcotic, officials say.
Most were arrested in a series of early morning raids and search warrant executions which occurred on Tuesday in Orange and Rockland counties.
The arrests and search warrant executions were as a result of a 6-month-long narcotics investigation.
Law enforcement officials recovered more than $200,000, 25 handguns, one assault rifle, multiple rifles, ten vehicles, two motorcycles, over 2.5 pounds of cocaine and 1300 Fentanyl pills, according to police.
Paul Smith, 48, of Deerpark, a paid Lieutenant of the City of Middletown Fire Department, was charged with crimes including operating as a major trafficker. He's alleged to have been a member of both conspiracies. Search warrants were executed at the City of Middletown Fire Department. He is also being charged with attempted criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance and conspiracy.
John Beltempo, 49, of New Windsor, who previously worked for the Village of Spring Valley Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Town of Wallkill Police Department, was charged with conspiracy and is alleged to have participated in the conspiracy to sell cocaine.
Garry Michel, 48, of the Town of Wallkill was charged with crimes including operating as a major trafficker. He allegedly was a “profiteer” in the conspiracy to sell narcotic pills, which were marketed to buyers as containing oxycodone, but which contained fentanyl.
Robert Dunham, 46 of Middletown, was charged with conspiracy and four counts of criminal sale of controlled substance. He was allegedly involved in both conspiracies.
Marquis Gamble, 34, of Nyack was charged with crimes including operating as a major trafficker. He allegedly provided cocaine to other members.
Kenneth Nunez, 39, of Spring Valley, was allegedly found with cocaine given to him by Gamble to deliver to Smith.
Additionally, Sunshine Wall, 40, of Cuddebackville was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and Nicholas V. Ciccone, 47, of Port Jervis was charged with criminal impersonation and parole absconder.
The New York State Police and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office are requesting the public’s assistance in locating the following individuals:
- Charles Kavanaugh, 31, Newburgh
- Gary Caldwell, 33, Wappingers
- Justin Antona, 27, Slate Hill
- Andrew Bending, 23, Middletown
The New York State Police were assisted by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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