MANASSAS, Va. – Alexis Botto did not meet her sister's ex boyfriend until the funeral. Jean Sorensen was the one who, for the first year Jeanette was using heroin, pushing needles into her arm because she was afraid to do it herself.
But when she died two years ago at age 24, Jeanette had bought the drugs herself. She was alone in her bedroom at the suburban Virginia homewhen she injected what she thought heroin into her vein.
It was fentanyl, and she died almost instantly, though she was a bloody and cold three nights after Christmas in 201
"Hey what just an average-looking man," Alexis Botto recalled at Alexandria federal court in December. "The true monster was the heroin."
At the time of Jeanette's death, they did not know that another off-and-on girlfriend of Sorensen, Coral Blaylock, had died of an overdose just a month earlier 25, on Thanksgiving. Kelsey Miller, a close friend, said Sorensen had reached out to Blaylock when she got out of rehab
"From the time she met Chris it just like a downward spiral," Miller said. "He just reeled back into … She was doing so well; just a few months later, she's dead."
FBI agents. Sorensen later gave a pill containing fentanyl to another woman.
"The monster is not the heroin," Judge T.S. Ellis III said in sentencing Sorensen, 31, 22 months, in prison.
"The monster is the people who distributes the drugs, especially to young people."
The destruction of a single low-level drug dealer can cause and the destruction of the disease
Sorensen's defense attorney, Adam Krischer, said it makes no sense to ascribe to stumbling through life with no goal beyond his
"Heroin is the monster "but we can not punish heroin," he said in court.
"I'd likely be dead if I was not incarcerated," Sorensen himself told the judge. "I've lost many loved ones."
In an interview, Alexis Botto Sorensen,
"When I said heroin what the monster said, "it said the drugs," she said.
Jeanette Botto graduated from Woodbridge High School in. "
Jeanette Botto graduated from Woodbridge High School Prince William County in 2010. While living at home and working for an electric company, she began studying a master electrician.
Around the same time, she met Sorensen. Family and friends do not know how – maybe at a tattoo parlor.
"During those two years, Chris shot her up every single day," her sister Krystal Botto said – usually At about 4:30 in the morning and again at 4:30 in the afternoon.
Jeanette Botto tried to stop using her often when Sorensen was overdosed in jail or when she. But she kept relapsing.
"It's a vicious cycle of going back to him, overcoming, coming home," Krystal said.
They called the cops on him, on her, on
"We fathers, Perry, said," We tried every way to get this locked up for good, "she says. "Because we knew he was poison to her."
Sorensen convinced that it was easier to get drugs in one than on the street. She told her family Sorensen would kick her out for other young women, then bring her back; Miller said he was similarly abusive to Blaylock.
The couple finally broke up in 2016, fro family thinks. But Jeanette could not stay clean, and eventually found her way to Sorensen's supplier in Baltimore.
"She thought she knew the dealer so she knew the product," Krystal said. Sorensen was aware of his own reputation.
"I'm known in town as the creep that's into zombies, "Sorensen wrote on his Facebook page about a month before his arrest in March, lamenting that" God "gave him the" hottest "woman," then took the life from her chest. " He added to the message: "RIP nice, coral, Smokey." Nice was his nickname for Jeanette.
In her last six months, her family said, Jeanette showed signs she had pulled away from the drug's hold. She was baking, racing remote control cars, posing on the tanning salon before lifting weights. Sorenson was out of the picture.
Jeanette hated the way drug abuse had rotted her teeth. Percoset, which she complained did not help with the pain.
In 2016, she made it to the grandmother's house in Manassa's for Christmas Eve for the first time in three years, after staying away for fear of being judged
So her older sister Tonya Botto did not mention the fresh track marks on Jeanette's hands, scared of pushing her away. She did not pay the 60-inch, $ 600 television, because Jeanette had hid past relapses with excessive generosity. Jeanette's bank account and no sign they were on heroin again.
"They could have taken that $ 600 and bought drugs, but they did not," he said , "And I was convinced that she was okay."
The night before her death, he said, he was talking to a family friend "about how she had kicked it, how she was one of those who survived it."
When they look at the pictures from that Christmas, they can not see her.
Her mother, who had moved out with her younger daughter to protect her from Jeanette's influence, killed herself in grief months later.
To his family, Sorensen was no monster; he was another victim.
He was addicted to heroin by age 16, using drugs in part to treat pain from scoliosis and degenerative disc disease. His attorney said he did not buy any drugs, he could not make it back to Virginia.
In an interview, Krischer reiterated his client had no malicious design.
Sorensen pleaded guilty to a batch of distributing fentanyl causing serious injury in connection with the overdose of the ex-girlfriend who survived. 19659003] A doctor who prescribed Sorensen opioids has pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing oxycodone; he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in March.
"Addicts get decades-long sentences," Krischer said.
Experts agree that low-level dealers like Sorensen are, in words of drug policy expert Jonathan Caulkins, "easily replaceable minor player [s] in the overall scheme. "
But, he said," prosecutors "are" even if it does not roil the market, "he said.
"Certainly, Chris Sorensen is not going to use anybody any drugs," Krischer acknowledged.
For Jeanette Botto's family, that's something. Her monsters are gone – buried with her. But they hope they are through, because they know monsters are everywhere.