State appeals court upholds drug conviction
BEMIDJI – The Minnesota Court of Appeals Monday affirmed the conviction of a man who claimed a police informant enticed him with sex in order to buy drugs.
The appellant, Adam Kent Christenson of Bemidji, was convicted in Beltrami County District Court of felony third-degree sale of a controlled substance in November 2011, according to court documents. He sold Percocet to a citizen informant enlisted to the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force by Bemidji Police Capt. James Marcotte, who was assigned to the task force, according to the court’s filing.
Christenson was originally sentenced to 132 days in jail and placed on 20 years of supervised probation, according to court documents.
The unnamed female informant testified in district court that she had to “bribe” Christenson with sex to convince him to sell her pills, according to the court filing. Christenson motioned for the case to be dismissed, arguing that the sexual relationship constituted outrageous government conduct in violation of his due process guarantees.
The district court, however, concluded that “it appears clear from the record that their sexual relationship pre-existed her disclosure of (Christenson’s) identity to Marcotte,” according to the appeals court’s filing.
It added: “There is absolutely no evidence that Marcotte encouraged her to become involved sexually with (Christenson) or that he was even aware of it.”
Although Marcotte didn’t tell the informant what methods to use to identify targets or gain their trust, he did tell her to “avoid arranging buys with close personal friends or family members, due to the potential conflicts of interest,” according to the filing.
The informant met Christenson at his Bemidji home on Aug. 13, 2010 and bought 50 Percocet pills for $1,500 from a task force fund, according to the filing.
The informant had performed 20 to 30 controlled buys involving 10 suspects over the period of several months. She was compensated for each controlled buy, according to the appeals court filing.
The task force was formed in 1988 and currently involves Beltrami County, Clearwater County, Lake of the Woods County, Mahnomen County, Roseau County, the White Earth Reservation and the City of Bemidji, according to its website. It targets drug distributors and buyers as well as gang activity.
Christenson’s lawyer did not return a phone call seeking comment Monday.