Two men charged as kingpins in one of the biggest drug rings in Anne Arundel County history pleaded guilty yesterday to lesser charges. Meanwhile, the trial of two brothers charged as the ringleaders is to begin today.
Philip B. Dulany, 48, of Pasadena, and George T. Johnson Jr., 47, of Glen Burnie, pleaded guilty to importation of marijuana, and possession of 50 pounds or more of marijuana with intent to distribute.
Dulany also pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine.
The two men, looking more like weary and aging college professors than figures in a drug ring, entered their pleas in brief, separate afternoon hearings in a nearly empty courtroom before Circuit Judge H. Chester Goudy Jr.
The pleas were worked out in the morning after negotiations that began last week and continued through the weekend.
Johnson faces up to 30 years in prison, including a mandatory five-year term on the possession with intent to distribute charge.
Dulany faces 34 years, which includes four years on the cocaine possession charge.
Conviction on the drug kingpin charge would have carried a mandatory 20-year term and maximum sentence of 40 years.
Dulany was to have gone to trial today with James M. Emory, 47, of Pasadena, and Roger L. Emory, 43, of Glen Burnie, on the kingpin charges. The trials for Johnson and another co-defendant, William Bailey, Jr., 47, were to start next month.
Mr. Bailey also appeared before Judge Goudy yesterday to say that he declined the same plea bargain Dulany and Johnson accepted, and that he would stand trial.
Deputy State's Attorney Gerald K. Anders said evidence against Johnson and Dulany was gathered in a nine-month investigation that began in January 1992.
He said police tailed Johnson as he drove to storage lockers in Glen Burnie, "pretty much on a daily basis" for six or seven months. When police raided the lockers Oct. 29, they turned up 118 pounds of marijuana in one of the lockers and $47,800 in cash in another.
A search of Johnson's house in the 900 block of Lombardi Circle in Glen Burnie also turned up a safe deposit box with $220,000 in cash and $30,000 in deposit slips for a savings account, Mr. Anders said.
Mr. Anders said Barry Parker, an acquaintance of Johnson's, would have testified that Johnson picked up $20,000 worth of marijuana, driven by a courier from Texas in five trips, at the Denny's restaurant in Glen Burnie.
Police who trailed Johnson from the Denny's would have testified that Johnson drove the shipments from the restaurant to Mr. Bailey's house, Mr. Anders said.
He said evidence against Dulany included 339 pounds of marijuana found in storage lockers in Glen Burnie and Pasadena that were leased in his name.
Police also found several drug record tally sheets at Dulany's house in the 1000 block of Woodlawn Ave., Pasadena. An FBI analyst said the records showed Dulany was responsible for distributing $229,650 worth of marijuana over seven months, Mr. Anders said.
Both men declined to comment afterward, but Dulany's lawyer said the evidence against his client, which included videotapes, left him with little choice but to plead guilty.
"They had 300 pounds of marijuana in lockers that were rented in his name. He felt there was no way around that," said Howard L. Cardin. "Phil was not a really big part of this ring. He's a real decent person who should've known better than to get involved in this."
Lawyers for the Emorys said plea negotiations for their clients had been fruitless.
Timothy Murnane, Roger Emory's lawyer, said prosecutors offered roughly the same bargain that Johnson and Dulany took, but that his client felt strongly that he was not a drug importer and "should not plead guilty to something he didn't do."
Peter S. O'Neill, James Emory's lawyer, said the state wouldn't drop kingpin charges against his client.