Rochester, N.Y. --- It was a drug investigation in March and the focus was a man who lived on Roxborough Road in the City’s 19th Ward. Officers would find drugs and cash inside the home of Christopher Charles McNair who would later be indicted on charges that included Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 1st Degree; a Class A Felony that carries with it a possible twenty year prison sentence.
But that charge and most every other charge in the indictment was dismissed by a judge who called the search of McNair’s home “warrantless” and “unconstitutional.” Monroe County Court Judge Doug Randall also “called into question” Rochester Police Officer Ryan Hartley’s testimony on the witness stand multiple times and stated in one case that his account of the investigation was “sufficiently discredited.”
Judge Randall’s decision was issued about a month after Officer Hartley was sued for lying on a police report that led to all charges being dropped in an unrelated drug case. The City of Rochester, the Rochester Police Department, and fellow-RPD Officer Rob Osipovitch were also named in that civil suit.
Osipovitch was also involved in the McNair investigation on Roxborough Road and, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, both officers remain on patrol.
The Locust Club Police Union confirms no knowledge of any pending disciplinary proceedings or investigations against either officer as a result of Judge Randall’s decision.
Rochester Police Chief James Sheppard had no comment on Monday and acknowledged that he first became aware of Officer Hartley’s testimony following a 13WHAM News inquiry into the matter. He did promise to learn more about the situation and respond once he does.
Roxborough Road Investigation & Judge’s Order
Judge Randall’s order issued August 9th lays out testimony provided to the court by Officer Hartley and other witnesses during a proceeding to determine what evidence would be admissible at trial. Police officers obtained a warrant to enter McNair’s home around 11 p.m., but only after McNair was in custody after being pulled over for a traffic violation.
Officer Hartley reportedly secured a perimeter around McNair’s home and told the court he made entry only after that search warrant was obtained. He also told the court his interest in the Roxborough Road home and McNair was the result of a tip from a “concerned citizen,” who was later identified as a confidential informant.