What to Know
- Police, the DEA and FBI agents raided 15 locations in Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties Tuesday morning
- The raids were part of an investigation that launched in August; Twenty-nine people have been charged
- Several of the people arrested have links to biker gangs, law enforcement sources said
More than a dozen people, including a fire department lieutenant and a retired police officer, were arrested on drug charges during raids in Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties, police and law enforcement sources said.
New York State police, the DEA and FBI agents raided 15 locations in the three counties early Tuesday morning, state police said.
New York State Police launched the investigation, known as "Operation Bread, White and Blues," this past August. The investigation targeted two narcotics distribution conspiracies operating in Rockland and Orange counties.
Twenty-nine people currently face felony narcotics and conspiracy charges in connection with the investigation — more than 20 of the people were arrested Tuesday, according to state police.
Among the arrested are Paul Smith, 48, a lieutenant with the City of Middletown Fire Department and John Beltempo, 49, a retired law enforcement officer who served as a Village of Spring Valley Police Department officer.
Attorney information for the men was not immediately available.
An Orange County Sheriff’s Department officer and a Town of Walkill Police Department officer were also arrested, state police said.
Several of the people arrested have links to biker gangs, law enforcement sources said.
In the raid, more than $200,000 in cash, 25 handguns, rifles, 10 vehicles, two motorcycles, cocaine and fentanyl were recovered, state police said, adding that four individuals are still being sought.