Drug-ring defense faults warrants for police raid

March 04, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

Attorneys for three men charged with being part one of the biggest drug rings in county history argued yesterday that search warrants were sworn out based on insufficient evidence, that prosecutors were using the grand jury improperly and that the judge who signed the search warrants was biased in favor of the police.

Attorneys representing brothers James M. Emory, 47, of Pasadena and Roger Lee Emory, 43, of Glen Burnie, as well as Philip B. Dulany, 48, of Pasadena, asked that 400 pounds of marijuana seized during an Oct. 29, 1992, raid be ruled inadmissible as evidence.

Circuit Judge H. Chester Goudy Jr. is expected to rule in the next few days on the pre-trial requests.

The attorneys argued in a day-long hearing yesterday that the drugs, found in rented Millersville self-storage lockers, should not be introduced at trial because police affidavits that formed the basis for search warrants signed by Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr. were faulty.

They argued that the affidavits were too vague, and that police went beyond their scope, taking items such as cars and locker keys they didn't specify in the warrant applications.

"They pulled a dump truck up and took everything that wasn't nailed down. It was a dump-truck general warrant, and it was wrong," said Timothy Murnane, attorney for Roger Emory.

Peter S. O'Neill, who is representing James M. Emory, said allegations made by police in the warrants about drug meetings between co-defendants in their homes also were misleading and "just plain false."

"There's not one scintilla of evidence that my client's home [in the 1200 block of Villa Isle Court] was being used as a storage facility for drugs," he said.

Deputy State's Attorney Gerald K. Anders argued that the warrants were justified by the "totality of the circumstances," based on evidence gathered by police in a 10-month investigation.

The evidence included videotaped surveillance of the defendant's consorting with other drug dealers, evidence that none has worked at any jobs for at least eight months, surveillance of their trips to the storage lockers and a police dog "alerting" officers to the presence of drugs near the lockers, he said.

"I think there was more than enough indication there to indicate probable cause," Mr. Anders said.

Defense lawyers also alleged that the state's attorney was using the grand jury improperly to fish for additional evidence to use against their clients after they were indicted -- further proof, they said, that prosecutors do not have enough evidence to try the case.

Howard I. Cardin, Mr. Dulany's attorney, called as a witness William L. Minor, a friend of Roger Emory's subpoenaed by the grand jury in December and again a month ago.

Mr. Minor testified yesterday that he was questioned before the grand jury about the Emorys' suspected drug activities and drinking habits.

"They asked if [the Emorys] had ever given me marijuana, or if I knew whether either Roger or James were alcoholics," said Mr. Minor, 43.

"The state was asking and seeking information that it had no right to seek," Mr. Cardin said.

But Mr. Anders said the grand jury can be used to seek additional information -- not to support charges already filed, but as an investigative tool to bring additional charges if necessary.

The defense lawyers also alleged that Judge Duckett, the former Anne Arundel County State's Attorney appointed to the Circuit Court bench in 1988, was biased in favor of the police and acted improperly in signing the warrants.

Mr. Cardin said the scant information contained in the warrant applications would have "caused a neutral magistrate to have raised more questions" about the basis for the searches.

But Mr. Anders said that there is no indication Judge Duckett had acted any differently than any other judge would have if presented with the same search warrant request.

Prosecutors have dropped charges against Patricia Emory, principal of Severna Park Elementary School, who was arrested with her husband, James M. Emory, during a raid at their home Oct. 29.

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