Evidence mounts in case of accused drug kingpins Principal to testify at husband's trial

April 04, 1993|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

Detectives and lab technicians spent last week piling up evidence at the trial of two Anne Arundel County men accused of drug kingpin charges.

It will be up to prosecutors this week to stitch it all together into a case against James and Roger Emory.

Undercover detectives and police technicians took the stand one by one to tell a Circuit Court jury of the 400 pounds of marijuana found in storage bins and of documents that they claim depict an elaborate drug firm with James Mitchell Emory as chairman and Roger Lee Emory on the board of directors.

The trial of Roger Emory, 44, and James Emory, 47, will resume tomorrow and is expected to last through the week. If convicted in the largest marijuana case in the county's history, the men face up to 40 years in prison.

On the witness list for this week is Patricia Emory, 46, the former Severna Park Elementary School principal who is James Emory's wife. Drug kingpin charges against Mrs. Emory were dropped in December after the state's attorney declined to ask a grand jury to indict her.

Mrs. Emory has not been in court all week. But Virginia Watts, James' and Roger's mother, said Friday her daughter-in-law plans to defend her husband when she takes the stand.

"This thing has been hell on the whole family," Mrs. Watts said. "I can't believe how my boys have been treated. This just breaks my heart."

Mrs. Watts spent most of Friday in and around Courtroom 7 as plastic bags stuffed with marijuana, boxes and envelopes of documents and James Emory's battered briefcase in which police found $12,000 were hauled before the judge.

The evidence was seized during all-night raids Oct. 29 on storage bins, James Emory's home in the 1200 block of Villa Isle Court in Pasadena and Roger Emory's home in the 7500 block of West Drive in Glen Burnie.

Defense attorneys were quick to point out that only 3.2 grams of marijuana were found in James Emory's sport-utility vehicle and a small amount of the drug was found in Roger Emory's home. No drugs were found in James Emory's home.

Also seized by officers was a pamphlet titled "The Emperor Wears No Clothes," a parody on the government's war on drugs.

The booklet's author, Jack Herer, advocates legalization of marijuana and cites studies that he claims show that the average pot smoker "will live longer than his counterpart that does no drugs at all" with less wrinkles and fewer illnesses.

Roger Emory's wife, Linda, and their daughter, Nikki, 22, spent mostof Friday morning outside Judge H. Chester Goudy Jr.'s courtroom.

Drug kingpin charges against Linda Emory were dropped, but she still faces marijuana possession charges.

She said the 4 a.m. police raid was terrifying and humiliating.

"I heard a loud crash and I ran to the bedroom door and tried to hold it shut," she said. "I was screaming hysterically. I didn't know who it was or what was happening."

Police officers testified they found $17,158 in cash in a brown paper bag and a loaded semiautomatic handgun in the bedroom.

Nikki Emory said she sat handcuffed holding her 2-year-old daughter in her lap while officers searched the house.

"Now my daughter has nightmares about men coming in the house," she said. "She hides behind her bed."

Also scheduled to testify this week is Lawrence C. Leibman, a member of the alleged ring who was originally charged as a kingpin and pleaded guilty to lesser charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine.

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