Figure in drug kingpin case admits guilt in plea bargain

March 20, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A Millersville man expected to be the key prosecution witness in the one of the biggest drug trials in Anne Arundel County history pleaded guilty yesterday to drug distribution charges in a quick and uneventful hearing.

Lawrence C. Leiben of the 8300 block of Veterans Highway pleaded guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

Deputy State's Attorney Gerald K. Anders said that Leiben will testify against three co-defendants facing drug kingpin charges: James Mitchell Emory, 47, and Philip Dulany, 48, both of Pasadena; and Roger Lee Emory, 43, of Glen Burnie. Their trial is to start March 30.

The group was arrested in a series of early morning raids Oct. 29. Police found 445 pounds of marijuana in storage lockers they rented.

Leiben agreed to testify in exchange for the state's decision to drop drug kingpin charges, which carry a mandatory 20-year sentence. He now faces a maximum of 25 years when he is sentenced by Judge H. Chester Goudy Jr. on June 28.

Gill Cochran, Leiben's lawyer, acknowledged that his client's sentence will depend in part on the weight and credibility of his testimony at the trial for the Emorys and Mr. Dulany.

"Now he's got to prove his value," Mr. Cochran said.

Mr. Anders said yesterday that police found about 50 grams of cocaine and more than 913 grams of marijuana last October when they raided Leiben's engraving business, Laser Art Techniques, 17 Agnes Road, Glen Burnie.

In December, prosecutors dropped drug charges against Patricia Emory, the former Severna Park Elementary School principal who was arrested with her husband, James Emory.

Nancy Jane Adams, a school spokeswoman, said yesterday that Mrs. Emory remains on administrative leave with pay.

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