Felony drug kingpin charges against Linda D. Emory, the sister-in-law of an Anne Arundel County school principal, were dropped yesterday, her lawyer said.
But Linda Emory of Glen Burnie still faces two misdemeanor charges -- possession of marijuana and possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia -- which together carry a maximum fine of $1,500 and one year in prison.
The grand jury will hear testimony from Severna Park Elementary Principal Patricia A. Emory, who also was charged as a drug kingpin, when it convenes Dec. 7.
Both women were charged last month with smuggling marijuana into the state under the drug kingpin statue, after the largest marijuana bust in the county's history.
An all-night raid of 17 locations on Oct. 29 turned up 800 pounds of marijuana in public storage bins in Glen Burnie and Harford County and $320,000. Police arrested 10 people.
Timothy Murnane, Linda Emory's lawyer, said that his client is relieved the felony charges have been dropped.
"Obviously, she is very pleased. But she is obviously very disappointed she was charged this way in the first place," he said. "We think it was very unfair. I don't think she's guilty of anything."
Mr. Murnane said he would continue his efforts to have the remaining charges against her dropped.
Linda Emory's husband, Roger L. Emory, and her brother-in-law, James Mitchell Emory, were both indicted as drug kingpins on Monday. If convicted, they could face up to 40 years in prison.
Frank Weathersbee, county state's attorney, said that felony charges against Linda Emory, which carried a sentence of up to 40 years in prison, were dropped because prosecutors said they did not have sufficient evidence to convict her.
"I can only emphasize that we are talking about the evidence we have at this time," Mr. Weathersbee said, noting that prosecutors are still investigating the case and Linda Emory can be charged again if additional evidence turns up.
Mr. Weathersbee has granted Patricia Emory's request to testify before the grand jury Dec. 7, her lawyer, E. Thomas Maxwell, said.
"Usually defendants don't want to talk to the grand jury," Mr. Weathersbee said. "But she asked to, and we think it is worthwhile to hear from her."
In grand jury proceedings, Patricia Emory would be subject to cross-examination by prosecutors and grand jury members and her attorney is not allowed to be present, he said.
Mr. Maxwell hopes that Patricia Emory's testimony in December will help clear her name.
"This is only the second time I have seen something like this happen," Mr. Maxwell said, referring to his client's decision to go before the grand jury. "And I have been in this business for 35 years."
Since her arrest, Patricia Emory has maintained her innocence.