An Anne Arundel Circuit judge denied yesterday a request to try three men separately on charges that they were the kingpins in one of the biggest drug rings in county history.
Judge H. Chester Goudy Jr. agreed with prosecutors that the evidence -- hundreds of pounds of marijuana -- against James M. Emory, 47, of Pasadena; Roger Lee Emory, 43, of Glen Burnie; and Philip Dulany, 48, of Pasadena, is identical and could be used against any of them.
Gerald K. Anders, deputy state's attorney, argued that separate trials are required under Maryland law only when the defense can prove that the evidence against one defendant would be inadmissible against another.
"The fact that they might point the finger at one another, the fact that they might implicate each other, the courts have said, that's just too bad," he said.
But Mr. Anders agreed to prosecute separately the charges of possession of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine filed against Mr. Dulany. All the other charges against the three involve marijuana, he said.
That trial is scheduled to start March 30.
Judge Goudy also turned down a request by Howard I. Cardin, Mr. Dulany's attorney, to rule illegal a search warrant police used to seize marijuana still in a Millersville storage locker two weeks after the men were arrested Oct. 29.
But he agreed to study a request to strike as evidence the keys to that locker found in the glove box of James Emory's 1992 Ford Explorer when he was arrested.
Peter S. O'Neil, James Emory's attorney, argued that the arrest warrant did not allow for the search of the vehicle, nor did it give police a reason to take the keys.
Mr. Anders countered that police were justified in taking any keys they found because they knew the marijuana was locked in storage bins.
Meanwhile, Timothy Murnane, Roger Emory's attorney, complained that prosecutors are intentionally making it difficult for him to prepare his case by keeping evidence from him.
Judge Goudy reiterated an earlier directive that the state's attorney adhere to the standard court rules for discovery, which require prosecutors to make all relevant evidence available.
Judge Goudy ordered in January that the Emory brothers and Mr. Dulany be tried together in one proceeding and that two co-defendants also charged as kingpins, George T. Johnson, 47, of Glen Burnie and William Bailey, 46, be tried separately.
Prosecutors dropped in December drug charges against Patricia Emory, the former Severna Park Elementary School principal, who was arrested with her husband, James Emory, during the raid at their home.