ROCHESTER, N.Y. (NewsNation Now) — The husband of Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren pleaded not guilty to criminal drug and weapons charges Thursday, a day after a police search of the house he shares with the mayor.
Following his arrest at a traffic stop in the city Wednesday, New York State Police executed the search reported NewsNation affiliate WROC. State police troopers spent several hours searching the home of Granison and Warren on Wednesday, saying it was part of a criminal investigation but disclosing no details at the time.
Troopers closed off the block around Warren’s home with police tape and could be seen taking items from the residence, according to video recordings by journalists at the scene.
Attorney John DeMarco, in entering not guilty pleas for Granison on three felony charges: criminal possession of a controlled substance, third-degree, class B felony; criminal possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell, third degree, class B felony; and criminal possession of a firearm, class E felony.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said Granison’s arrest was a part of a major law enforcement investigation into drugs in the City of Rochester reported WROC.
“Warrants were served at several locations last evening and early this morning as a part of an accumulation of a longer term narcotics investigation,” Doorley said. “This was an investigation spanning close to seven months, a title three wiretap investigation that was run by my office.
Doorley said the mayor was living at the house on Woodlawn Park where the search warrant was executed, but was not home at the time. Doorley said the mayor’s daughter was home alone at the time. Officials say she called a family member to pick her up and she left the residence.
The district attorney said this drug bust was not politically motivated, adding that Granison was not the original target of this investigation, but evidence ultimately led police to him.
Granison was released without bail on his own recognizance pending his next court appearance on June 21 at 10 a.m. EST. Bail is not allowed on the charges, reported WROC.
Granison has been embroiled in the criminal justice system before.
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.
Warren was indicted in a campaign finance fraud case in October, but a representative for the district attorney’s office said Wednesday’s police activity at her home was not connected to that case.
“The mayor is just learning about the events that unfolded this afternoon and has no more information than the rest of the community,” Warren’s spokesperson Justin Roj said in a statement Wednesday.
Warren, a Democrat, is in the middle of a reelection campaign for a third 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 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 the 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.
NewsNation affiliate WROC and The Associated Press contributed to this article: Reporting by Deepti Hajela/AP.