Feds search HQ of groups with ties to mayor

FBI Searches Three Buffalo Properties

BUFFALO - The Buffalo FBI office confirmed a trio of search warrants were executed in the city Thursday. The agency is saying very little else and will not disclose the case connected to the search, but it appears there is an investigation involving Grassroots, Inc.

The headquarters of the political organization is 339 Genesee Street. That was where one of the searches took place.

Another happened at 64 Meech Street, believed to be the home of Maurice Garner who founded Grassroots. His current involvement with the organization is unclear; his name no longer appears on their website.

There is no indication that Garner or anyone else was taken into custody.

Founded in late '80s, Grassroots was something of an upstart political group within city Democratic circles. Eventually, a pair of powerful figures emerged from the organization. Crystal Peoples-Stokes was elected to city council and then state assembly. Byron Brown won a seat in the State Senate which helped him become Buffalo's first African-American mayor.

Today, Grassroots is arguably the most powerful political organization in the city.

2 On Your Side was told to expect a statement from Mayor Brown. At the time this story was posted, the statement had not arrived.

The third location searched Thursday was 1325 Main Street, also known as the Packard Building. It appears the offices of the Urban Chamber of Commerce, which was also founded by Garner, were searched by the feds.

The agencies participating in the trio of search warrants were the FBI, the IRS, the NYS Attorney General's Office and State Police.  

© 2017 WGRZ-TV


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