Written by Devon Boen
Cynthia Picton and Robert Briscoe became well-known names in Roosevelt County throughout 2012, but the tumultuous duo were not the only ones implicated in the February 2012 meth production case.
Christina Sorenson, a 29-year-old woman from Plentywood, was also charged with felony operation of an unlawful clandestine laboratory but was offered a plea deal soon after the incident.
According to court documents, on Feb. 21, Picton was pulled over in Poplar after Briscoe called 911 stating she was driving drunk. In what seemed to be an effort to level the playing field, Picton allegedly told officers Briscoe was cooking crystal methamphetamine in her car and proceeded to show police paraphernalia and items used to cook the drug.
Both Picton and Briscoe were arrested and both of their cases have since been resolved, but Sorensen’s fate is still undetermined.
Court documents stated Sorenson was originally deemed a suspect when Picton said Briscoe had been manufacturing the drug with Adam Colgan, a resident of Poplar. Police enacted a search of Picton and Briscoe’s hotel room, where multiple items used to make meth were found, as well as Colgan’s trailer.
On Feb. 22, police didn’t locate Colgan at the trailer, but instead found Sorensen there. Law enforcement allegedly found Coleman fuel, hydrogen peroxide, lye, aluminum foil, lithium batteries, hypodermic syringes, bent metal spoons, a snort tube, cotton filters, clear sandwich baggies and a digital scale.
Sorensen was arrested and taken to the Roosevelt County Detention Center where she was questioned. Sorenson allegedly told the police Picton and Briscoe had cooked meth several times in Colgan’s trailer and allegedly admitted to using the product several times. She also stated Picton and Briscoe asked her to purchase 10 boxes of Sudafed for production purposes, but told police she declined the request.
Sorenson was held on a $25,000 bond until March 14 when her lawyer requested a reduction to $10,000, which was granted. Sorenson was offered a plea deal before she was released on bail in March, but the deal was never signed. In order for it to likely become official, Sorenson needed to follow all of her bond conditions, which included an order to stay in Roosevelt County unless she received express permission from the courts to leave.
The report said despite this order, the courts were alerted Sorenson was living near Killdeer, N.D. The Roosevelt County Attorney’s Office stated the county became aware of the violation in November. Normally, a person’s bond would be revoked immediately and they would be back in jail, but Sorenson was nearing the end of a pregnancy. Because she was so far along and lacked proper prenatal care, a decision was made to not revoke her bond at the time.
She gave birth just after the New Year and was reportedly staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Bismarck, N.D., while her newborn was hospitalized in a neonatal intensive care unit.
An arrest warrant was issued on Jan. 4. She was taken into custody and appeared in court Jan. 16 regarding revocation of her bond.
Sorenson’s lawyer, Cynthia Thornton, spoke on her behalf, and asked the judge to release her into the custody of Kathy Boldt, who said she was the grandmother of Sorenson’s newborn child. Thornton said Boldt agreed to notify law enforcement if Sorenson violated her conditions or fled the area. Thornton said Sorenson agreed to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet to track her location.
Thornton also told district court Judge David Cybulski that Sorenson had not had a follow-up appointment with an OBGYN since she had given birth and cited it as another reason to release her into Boldt’s custody.
Patch immediately stated he wasn’t comfortable with releasing Sorenson given her prior history of violating her conditions, but didn’t make a final recommendation until Boldt took the stand as a witness.
Boldt stated she lived in Glendive and was the grandmother of Sorenson’s child. She said Sorenson and her son, who is a roustabout in Williston, N.D., were a couple and agreed to assume responsibility of Sorenson if she were released. She said she would notify law enforcement of any indiscretions and said she and her son would help Sorenson pay the $10 a day cost for the ankle monitoring bracelet.
Patch followed up, asking where the child was at the moment. Bolt stated she wasn’t sure, but believed it was with a social services organization.
After Boldt finished her testimony, Cybulski said he was okay with the conditions of release but wanted Sorenson to be placed on house arrest at Boldt’s residence in addition to the other specifications. Cybulski said he would give Patch 10 days to consider the proposal.
Cybulski set Sorenson’s next hearing for Jan. 30 when a decision about her release would likely have been reached.