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December 21, 2010

City firefighter arrested on felony drug charges

PLATTSBURGH — A city firefighter was arrested Friday in connection with a recent massive drug sweep across Clinton County.

The Plattsburgh Police Department said they, along with the Adirondack Drug Task Force, arrested Stephen Zukowski Friday after an undercover operation with an officer who acted as Zukowski's drug supplier.

Zukowski allegedly planned to transport a quantity of marijuana from Plattsburgh to Albany for $3,000. The 43-year-old Plattsburgh resident allegedly received shipments from the undercover Plattsburgh officer in the past, police said.

Police conducted surveillance of the arranged meeting place and arrested Zukowski soon after. He was reportedly found in possession of 5.2 pounds of marijuana.

They charged him with second-degree criminal possession of the drug, a felony.

Zukowski was arraigned Saturday in the City of Plattsburgh Court and committed to Clinton County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail or $20,000 bond, which he posted Saturday.

It is still unclear whether the arrest will affect Zukowski's position as a firefighter.

Plattsburgh City Fire Chief Paul Williams said the department is looking into what charges might be filed. He said he is waiting to hear from the city labor attorney.

"Until all legal questions are answered it would be unfair and irresponsible to remove anybody from their job," Plattsburgh Mayor Donald Kasprzak said.

Thursday's sweep across Clinton County left 31 people in custody. It was the largest countywide arrest effort in more than a decade, utilizing more than 70 law-enforcement officials from several agencies.

The investigation is continuing, and more arrests are likely, police said.

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