Bowman woman pleads not guilty to meth charges

A Bowman woman facing five drug-related charges pleaded not guilty at her preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Nick Gates, South Sakakawea Narcotics Task Force investigator, said Social Services alerted authorities in July that there was allegedly a 17-year-old babysitter in Chelsey Soehren's home while drug paraphernalia was present. The babysitter was reportedly watching two children at the time.

Gates said the babysitter, the mother of the babysitter and two children were at the residence when officers arrived.

"... at approximately 4 a.m. that same morning, Ms. Soehren had shown the babysitter methamphetamine," Gates said. "She believed that from the story she was told, Ms. Soehren was intending to sell the methamphetamine and may have in fact been under the influence of methamphetamine at that time."

Gates said the babysitter directed officers to several pieces of drug paraphernalia inside and outside the residence.

Officers had search warrants for Soehren's residence, her vehicle and they had a warrant to search Soehren, Gates said.

Officers reportedly went to Soehren's work where they searched her and her purse. About 2.1 grams of methamphetamine were allegedly found in Soehren's purse, Gates said.

"She told me that she received approximately an eight ball of methamphetamine, which is approximately 3.5 grams, from an individual named Jake," Gates said. "Her intention was to sell the methamphetamine and give Jake ... approximately $600 and she would be able to keep whatever money was left over for herself."

Gates said Soehren didn't know what "Jake's" last name was.

Soehren had allegedly told Gates she had sold one gram of the meth.

Soehren is charged with delivering meth, possession of meth with intent to deliver, possession of meth paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Jay Greenwood, Soehren's attorney, said officers did not have a search warrant for Soehren's place of work. The warrants also didn't allow officers to search containers that were not on Soehren, or in her home or vehicle.

During the hearing, Stark County Assistant State's Attorney Jim Hope said he expected Greenwood to file a motion to suppress evidence gathered in the case. Greenwood said he likely would.

After the hearing, Hope declined comment on the issue. Greenwood was unavailable for comment after the hearing.

Despite an objection from Soehren, Southwest Judicial District Judge Zane Anderson ordered that Soehren can not contact the babysitter.

Part of Soehren's conditions of release stipulated she take random drug screenings and live with her parents in Bowman. However, Greenwood said she would like to move into her own apartment in Bowman and Anderson agreed to let her.