Timothy Granison Rochester NY Mayor’s husband arrested in cocaine drugs and weapons charges as new questions are raised on Lovely Warren’s troubled office and possible complicity.
NY‘s Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren‘s husband has been charged as part of a seven-month narcotics ring investigation after police seized $60,000 worth of cocaine, $100,000 in cash, three firearms and a rifle in raids on the mayor’s home and six other properties according to reports. The bust has once again put focus on the troubled mayor’s office as she continues to go from one spectacle to another.
Timothy Granison, 42, was pulled over by cops in his car Wednesday as part of the drugs trafficking probe and was found to be in possession of a large quantity of cocaine, authorities said.
Investigators carried out a raid on the home he shares with the mayor and seized two firearms – a semi-automatic rifle and a loaded handgun. The couple’s 10-year-old daughter Taylor was home alone at the time.
The bust was part of a raid on seven homes over the last 24 hours to take out a mid-level drugs gang that has been ‘infecting the streets of Rochester’, Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said at a press conference Thursday morning.
Seven people including Granison were arrested and charged in connection to the raids. They are: 39-year-old Dkeidron Dublin, 44-year-old Jason Siplin, 27-year-old Jason Siplin, Jr., 30-year-old Namon Brown, 19-year-old Ernest S. Gamble and 32-year-old Lytrice Jackson.
Additional charges and arrests expected
Doorley said she expects more charges will be brought and more people will be arrested as part of the investigation the Democrat and Chronicle reported.
When asked if Warren is ‘in trouble’ and part of the investigation, the DA refused to rule it out.
‘At this point I will say we’re not done with the investigation. It is still ongoing so I’m not going to comment at this time,’ she said.
She would also not comment on whether or not there is any connection between the case and the campaign finance charges brought against the Rochester mayor in the fall. At the time of her indictment, Lovely pled not guilty.
If convicted in the ongoing investigations, Lovely faces being removed from office and permanently disbarred from political office.
As well as her husband, Warren is thought to also have connections to Siplin and Siplin Jr. but authorities did not provide any further details.
‘I do know that there is perhaps a relationship with the Siplin family but I’m not sure of the exact nature of the relationship,’ said Doorley of the mayor.
Original probe didn’t focus on Rochester Mayor’s husband
Granison was charged with illegal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to sell.
The mayor’s husband appeared via video in Rochester City Court from the Monroe County jail Thursday morning, where he pleaded not guilty to all counts.
He was released without bail pending his next court appearance on June 21.
Authorities on Thursday disclosed further details of the months-long operation that led up to Granison’s arrest and the other six individuals.
Investigators said the probe didn’t originally target Granison, only for the husband to appear on the radar around three months ago.
The DA said they learned he was a ‘player’ in the drugs gang and ‘followed the evidence.’
Probe politically motivated?
The DA’s office brought in the state police to prevent any issues around conflict of interest as she insisted the probe is ‘not politically motivated.’
‘Once we learned that he was becoming a potential target, I determined, along with my staff, that in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, that we bring in the New York State Police,’ said Doorley.
The DA would also not confirm whether or not Warren was recorded as part of the wire tapping.
When Granison was stopped Wednesday, he had a large quantity of cocaine in the car and was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance with an intent to sell.
Police then executed a search warrant on his home and discovered an unregistered handgun in the bedroom and a semi-automatic rifle.
Granison was booked with one count of possession of a firearm for the handgun.
Investigators are working to determine if the rifle was illegally owned and whether any charges will be brought in connection to that firearm.
Taylor, 10, was the only person home at the time, authorities confirmed.
It is not clear if child endangerment charges could also be brought as she was left alone with guns inside the property.
Follow the money
Raids were also carried out at six other properties Wednesday night and Thursday morning, culminating in the arrests of the six other individuals in connection to the drugs bust.
Officials seized more than two kilograms of powder and crack cocaine, with a street value of around $60,000.
Around 1.4 kilograms of this was found in the possession of Siplin, officials said.
Around $100,000 in cash, three firearms and one semi-automatic rifle were also seized.
Doorley called the drugs bust ‘significant’ and said it was the result of a long-term drugs probe.
‘If you look at the amount of cocaine seized, the amount of money seized, we believe this was a mid-level drugs organization that was infecting the city of Rochester,’ she said.
During Thursday’s press conference, Doorley said that other charges and arrests could follow.
‘There have been seven arrests so far but we anticipate there may be additional charges and additional people will be arrested,’ said Doorley.
Attorney John DeMarco, in entering not guilty pleas for Granison, asked that the charges be dismissed, saying they were not sufficiently presented, local media reported from the courtroom.
Prior skirmishes with the law
Judge Jacqueline Sisson, who presided over the hearing, denied the request but said it could be resubmitted in writing.
State police troopers spent several hours searching the home Granison shares with the mayor on Wednesday, saying it was part of a criminal investigation but disclosing no details at that time.
Troopers closed off the block around Warren’s home with police tape and could be seen taking items from the residence, according to videos from the scene.
Rochester’s City Communications Director Justin Roj said in a statement Wednesday the mayor did not know what the raid was in relation to.
‘The mayor is just learning about the events that unfolded this afternoon and has no more information than the rest of the community,’ he said.
‘She hopes to learn more details this evening and will have a statement tomorrow.’
Granison has been embroiled in the criminal justice system before according to the dailymail.
He was put on probation for five years after being arrested for his involvement in a jewelry store robbery that took place in March 1997 when he was 17 years old.
Two other men were sentenced to prison terms for their roles in that robbery.
His role in the robbery came to public attention just before Warren’s first inauguration.
In a statement at the time, she said Granison was judged as a youthful offender and his file sealed, and that he did not have a criminal record.
She pointed to him as an example of someone who had turned his life around and said he had learned from the experience.
In the middle of re-election of third term
Warren has also been previously implicated with allegations of corruption after she was indicted in a campaign finance fraud case in October.
Of note, Warren, a Democrat, is in the middle of a reelection campaign for a third four year term with a critical party primary coming up just next month.
She has spent the past year between crises. She was indicted in October on charges she broke campaign finance rules during her last reelection campaign, four years ago.
The treasurers of her campaign and political action committees were also charged.
She has acknowledged making errors in the handling and reporting of campaign contributions but said they were honest mistakes, not crimes.
Over the summer, she then faced calls to resign over her handling of the death of Daniel Prude, a black man who stopped breathing after police placed him in a mesh hood and pressed him to the pavement.
Police and city officials said almost nothing publicly about the death for months until Prude’s family obtained and released body camera video showing his death.
In March, a probe into the official response to Prude’s death, commissioned by Rochester’s city council, said Warren lied to the public about what she knew and when she knew it. A special counsel to the city administration disputed those claims.
In April, a federal civil rights lawsuit was filed naming Warren and other city officials, accusing them of allowing a culture of police brutality against racial minorities.