Drug kingpin gets 15 years, says he's sorry Failed his family, Johnson tells court

June 12, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A Glen Burnie man who was part of one of the biggest drug rings in Anne Arundel County history was sentenced to 15 years in prison yesterday after he tearfully told a packed courtroom that he had failed his family, his friends and, most of all, his son.

"It's been toughest on my son, Tommy. I have let him down immeasurably," George T. Johnson told Anne Arundel Circuit Judge H. Chester Goudy Jr.

Johnson, whose teen-age son sat a few rows behind him, was arrested Oct. 29 by county police in a sweep that ended a 10-month investigation and netted 10 suspects, including James Mitchell Emory, 47, of Pasadena and Roger Emory, 44, of Glen Burnie.

The brothers were convicted on kingpin charges for running the ring.

The case gained widespread attention because James Emory's wife, Patricia Emory, the principal of Severna Park Elementary School, also was initially charged. Charges against her were later dropped.

Johnson, of the 900 block of Lombardee Circle, said yesterday his incarceration since his arrest contributed to school problems for his son, who must repeat his junior year at Northeast High School in Pasadena.

"I think in this case it was a case of a son in need of his father," he said.

He said that he was sorry for what he had done, that he had been seduced by the money.

"I just got caught up in a money trap," Johnson said.

Deputy State's attorney Gerald K. Anders said Johnson was caught with 120 pounds of marijuana and $220,000 in cash when he was arrested.

Johnson pleaded guilty March 29 to importation of marijuana and possession of 50 pounds or more of marijuana with intent to distribute.

His sentence, which brought an audible gasp from the 20 friends and family members in court, came after Johnson's mother, a Methodist minister and a former business partner testified on his behalf.

They said that he is an intelligent, nonviolent and thoughtful person who is truly sorry for what he did.

"He's certainly not a mean or a violent person, not in any way," said his mother, Edith Johnson of Brooklyn Park.

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