Onetime firefighter pleads guilty to dealing cocaine

by Nickalas Tabbert

 A onetime Minneapolis firefighter has admitted that he dealt cocaine for two years while armed with multiple weapons.

Brandon J. Granger, 34, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Minneapolis to conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, the Star Tribune said.

He is no longer charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute or possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, the article said.

Granger, who had been a firefighter since 2006, was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 21, within six weeks of being indicted, and is no longer with the department.  He was most recently working out of Fire Station 7, at East Franklin and 20th Avenue S.

Granger conspired to deal 5 kilograms or more of the drug from 2009 to last October in Minnesota or elsewhere, the indictment said.  An Oct. 17 search of his south Minneapolis home uncovered at least seven guns, including a semi-automatic handgun and pistol, the Tribune said.

Granger allegedly possessed the weapons "during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime," the indictment said.

Authorities also took $4,000 in cash from Granger's SUV and $5,000 in cash from his home.

Sentencing for Granger has not been scheduled.

In a second case involving a firefighter and drugs at the University of Minnesota campus, Lawrence Anthony Wajda Jr., of Coon Rapids, was charged in Hennepin County District Court with drug possession after he was allegedly found with about a half-gram of methamphetamine during a search at Fire Station 19.