Granison, 42, was arrested and charged Wednesday with two counts of felony criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, including the intent to sell, and felony criminal possession of a firearm.
He was one of seven people charged in what law enforcement officials described Thursday as an extensive sting that was seven months in the making and involved wiretaps, including on the Woodman Park home that Granison shares with Warren and their young daughter.
Granison pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday in Rochester City Court and was released on his own recognizance. The other defendants were to be arraigned later in the day.
RELATED: State Police raid Mayor Lovely Warren's home
In a brief address from City Hall to reporters later in the day in which she took no questions, a defiant Warren sought to distance herself from her husband and decried his arrest as a politically- and racially-motivated ploy to derail her campaign for a third term in office — a bid whose outcome could be decided in a primary election on June 22.
She said she has been legally separated from Granison for years, but has continued living with him under an agreement to co-parent their daughter. She also denied having any involvement in the alleged crimes, saying, "I have done nothing wrong."
"If this is not about politics, why is Tim’s next court date June 21, the day before Primary Day?" Warren said. "Now that’s quite a coincidence.”
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley, who addressed reporters with representatives from the State Police at her offices earlier in the day following Granison's arraignment, denied that the charges were politically motivated and would neither confirm nor deny whether the mayor knew of or was involved in the alleged drug ring.
"We're not done charging yet," Doorley said, who described the probe as involving her office, the State Police, and the Rochester Police Department. "We're not done with this investigation."
Granison appeared in court via video conference from the Monroe County Jail, where he had been held in custody since being apprehended on Wednesday around 4:20 p.m. during a traffic stop.
- COURT POOL PHOTO / DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE
- Timothy Granison, lower inset, appeared for his arraignment virtually from the Monroe County Jail.
Law enforcement officials said the entire sting yielded two kilograms of powdered and crack cocaine — roughly four-and-a-half pounds — with a street value of $60,000, and three firearms, and more than $100,000 in cash.
"I think it's very significant," Doorley said. "We would deem this to be mid-level suppliers and if you think about the amount of cocaine that we were able to seize . . . that's significant."
- PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
- State Police raided the home of Mayor Lovely Warren on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Officials said the investigation is ongoing.
Police said they found a handgun and semi-automatic rifle at the house on Woodman Park, where they described Granison's and Warren's daughter being home alone.
Chase said police took Granison home after his arrest and allowed him to enter his house to call his daughter outside before executing their search.
Granison was scheduled to appear in court again on June 21, a day before the June primary elections in which Warren is facing a challenge for the Democratic ticket from City Council member Malik Evans.
STUNNING TURN OF EVENTS
The raid of her home and the charges brought against her husband were a stunning turn of events for Warren, who is seeking a third term amid being under indictment for alleged campaign finance fraud and grappling with fallout from her administration's handling of the death of Daniel Prude.
A mayoral spokesperson issued a statement late Wednesday as the search of Warren's home was concluding saying that the mayor was just learning about the raid and that she was hoping to learn more details in the coming hours and would have something to say on the matter on Thursday.
- PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
- Mayor Lovely Warren talks about plans to explore the possibility of using projected marijuana tax revenue to pay reparations to the city's Black and brown residents on Friday, March 26, 2021.
“I'm sure there are going to be people out there who think that this is politically motivated. It was not," Doorley said. "Timothy Granison was not the original target of this wire investigation.
"Approximately seven months I met with members of law enforcement, we had a target, we began to go up on phones, as we do with a wiretap investigations," she went on. "During the course of the investigation, Timothy Granison became apparent to us as being a player in this narcotics ring, and it was at this point that we followed the evidence. Simple as that.”
- PHOTO BY GINO FANELLI
- Monroe County District Attorney and State Police Major Barry Chase describe the charges brought against Timothy Granison and others on May 20, 2021.
NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR ARRAIGNMENT
Granison was arraigned before Canandaigua City Court Judge Jacqueline Sisson, who was assigned to handle the case to avoid a potential conflict of interest. He had been scheduled to be arraigned before Rochester City Court Judge Melissa Barrett, whom Warren appointed to the bench in 2018 to fill a vacancy left by the departure of Leticia Astacio.
At the arraignment, the prosecuting attorney, Greg Park, indicated that the Monroe County District Attorney's Office intended to present the case to a grand jury.
- PHOTO BY MAX SCHULTE
- John DeMarco, the defense attorney for Timothy Granison, speaks to reporters outside Rochester City Court following Granison's arraignment on May 20, 2021.
Granison has a criminal past, something that the mayor has been open about during her years in politics and has used to illustrate how people can find redemption and a second chance in life.
He pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery in 1997 and was sentenced to five years of probation for his role in a gun-point robbery of The Source jewelry store in Rochester on West Ridge Road in March of that year.
Granison was 18 at the time and resided then at 287 Frost Ave., which is the home of his brother and one of the properties targeted in the raids Wednesday.
He was caught driving the getaway car carrying two accomplices in the robbery who were said to have "terrorized customers" inside the jewelry store. His accomplices were sentenced up to 15 years and 25 years in prison.
This is a developing story. Check back for more details as they become available.