MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. (AP) - Police say a city fire official was a ringleader of a cocaine-dealing motorcycle club and another operation that sold pills containing fentanyl in upstate New York.

State police say 48-year-old Lt. Paul Smith of the Middletown Fire Department was among 29 people charged in a drug bust Tuesday. Most were arrested in early morning raids in Orange and Rockland counties. Smith was charged with being a major trafficker.

Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano says Smith was suspended without pay. DeStefano says Smith was a 19-year veteran with a prominent role as shift supervisor and training officer. The mayor says it's disturbing that some of the alleged drug deals happened at a city fire house.

Officials did not have the name of Smith's lawyer to comment on his behalf.

A former town police officer was also among those arrested.


This story has been corrected to show that 29 were charged, not all arrested.

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