MANASSAS, Va. – Alexis Botto did not meet his sister's ex-boyfriend until the funeral. Christopher Sorensen was the one who, for the first year Jeanette used heroin, pressed needles into her arm because she was afraid to do it herself. He had falsified a check in his father's name to pay for drugs and hid in their house to avoid a charge.
But when she died two years ago at age 24, Jeanette had bought the drugs herself. She was alone in her bedroom in her family's suburban Virginia Virginia when she injected what she thought was heroin into her friend.
It was fentanyl and she died almost immediately, although no one knew until her father found her bloody and cold three nights after Christmas in 201
Bottosna invited the Sorensen to the funeral and thought it would be an alarm clock – as her cousin Krystal put it and changed the man she loved could be the "victim of her life".
"He was just a handsome man," recalled Alexis Botto of the federal court in Alexandria in December. "The true monster was heroin."
At Jeanette's death, they did not know that another Sorensen girlfriend, Coral Blaylock, had died of an overdose just a year and a half earlier at 25, on Thanksgiving. Kelsey Miller, a close friend, said that Sorensen had come out to Blaylock when she came out of rehab.
"From the time she met Chris, it was just like a downward spiral," Miller said. "He just reeled her back in … She did so well, just a few months later she's dead."
Two other of his exes in Baltimore also overpowered fat, he later told FBI agents. Sorensen later gave a pill containing fentanyl to another woman he saw. She almost died of an overdose, but was revived with naloxone.
"The monster is not heroin", judge T.S. Ellis III said in sentencing Sorensen, 31, last month to 22 years in prison. "The monster is the people who distribute the drugs, especially for young people."
With federal authorities that shut down opioid traders to fight the overdose epidemic, the case illustrates the destruction that a single low-level physician can cause and challenge to prevent user-dealer relationships.
Sorensen's defense lawyer, Adam Krischer, said it is not pointless to attribute an addict who stumbles through life without any goal beyond his next high.
"Heroin is the monster, but we cannot punish heroin," he said in court.
"I would probably be dead if I was not imprisoned," said Sorensen himself the judge. "I have lost many dear ones. I never wanted to hurt my friend. "
In an interview, Alexis Botto said she did not intend to express Sorensen or use his defense.
" When I said heroin was the monster, I explained to me all the bad decisions my sister had made and all the things she had done to hurt us all. It wasn't her, it was the drugs, she said. "Chris is still responsible for his decisions to postpone these girls and distribute these drugs. Even if the drugs are a monster, he is as much one to do what he has done."
Jeanette Botto graduated from Woodbridge High School in Prince William County in 2010. While living at home and working for an electrical company, she began studying to become an electrician.
At the same time, she met Sorensen. Family and friends do not know how – perhaps in a tattoo room. They didn't know she was doing heroin until she had her first overdose in 2012, two years after she started using it.
"During the two years, Chris shot her up every day," her sister Crystal Botto said – usually at about 4:30 in the morning and again at 4:30 in the afternoon.
After getting clean of his family, Jeanette Botto repeatedly tried to stop using, often when Sorensen was in prison or when she overdosed. But she continued to return.
"It was a vicious cycle of her returning to him, returning to it, overdosing, coming home," Krystal said.
They called the police on him on her both of them when they blew her refund on a hotel binge.
"We tried every way to get this man locked for good," says dad Perry. "Because we knew he was married to her."
Sorensen convinced that her rehab program did not work, says her family and says it was easier to get drugs in one than on the street. She told her family that Sorensen would kick her out for other young women and then take her back. Miller said he was also insulting to Blaylock.
The couple finally struck 2016, her family thinks. But Jeanette couldn't keep herself clean, and eventually found herself at Sorensen's supplier in Baltimore.
"She thought she knew the dealer so she knew the product," Krystal said. "We always told her it could be cut with something else. She said no, it won't happen"
It later emerged that Sorensen was aware of his own reputation.
"I am known in town as insects that are in zombies," wrote Sorensen in a song published on his Facebook page about a month before his arrest in March, and regretted that "God" gave him the "hottest" the woman "and then took the life from her breast."  He added the message: "RIP neat, coral, Smokey." Neat was his nickname for Jeanette.
In her last six months, her family said Jeanette showed signs she had pulled away from the drug. She baked, racing remote cars, insisting on going to the tanning salon before lifting weights. Sorenson was out of the picture.
Jeanette hated how drug abuse had rotted her teeth, so she spent her savings to get them fixed. The dentist prescribed Percoset, as she did not complain enough about the pain.
In 2016, she made it to her grandmother's house in Manassas for Christmas Eve for the first time in three years after being gone for fear of being sentenced.
Then her older sister Tonya Botto did not mention the new track marks on Jeanette's hands, afraid to shoot her away. She questioned the 60-inch, 600's television that her sister bought her at Best Buy with a Christmas bonus, because Jeanette had hidden previous relapses with excessive generosity. But when she called her father he said he had been looking at Jeanette's bank account and saw no sign that she was on heroin again.
"She could have taken the $ 600 and bought drugs, but she didn't," he said. "And I was convinced 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 now, her family can see that she is tall from her dilated eyes. Two days later, she told her father that she was sick and would sleep the next day.
He found his body when he came home from work.
Her mother, who had moved out with her younger daughter to protect her from Jeanette's influence, killed herself in mourning months later.
Sorensen was not a monster to her family; He was another victim.
He was addicted to heroin at the age of 16, using drugs partly to treat scoliosis and degenerative disease. His lawyer said that when he went to Baltimore to buy drugs, he couldn't make it back to Virginia without pulling over to get high.
In an interview, Krischer repeated that his client had no nausea design. "He was an addict who used drugs and liked girls and used drugs with girls," he said.
Sorensen was guilty of a charge to distribute fentanyl and caused serious injury in the case of the ex-girlfriend's survival. 19659003] A doctor who prescribed sorensenopioids has allegedly required to prescribe oxycodone illegally; He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in March.
"Addicts have decades of sentences," says Krischer. "People who make money on the misery of others tend to go better."
Experts agree that low-level traders like Sorensen are, according to the chairman of the drug policy Jonathan Caulkins, "easily interchangeable smaller players [s] in the overall
But, he said, prosecutors also rarely found a dealer bound to several deaths: "Although it does not roil the market, this individual is unusually contagious in some abstract sense," he said.
"Certainly, Chris Sorensen will not use or give any drugs," admitted Krischer.
For Jeanette Botto's family is Her little monster is gone – buried with her, but they hope other families can learn from what they went through, knowing that monsters are everywhere.