Courts may take children of sisters charged in meth lab
Two sisters authorities tie to the operation of a motel-meth lab in Moorhead may lose their children in court proceedings. Donna Marie Roy, 21, of Mahnomen, Minn., and Holly Ann Thomas, 25, 1818 1st Ave.
Two sisters authorities tie to the operation of a motel-meth lab in Moorhead may lose their children in court proceedings.
Donna Marie Roy, 21, of Mahnomen, Minn., and Holly Ann Thomas, 25, 1818 1st Ave. N., Moorhead, each have three children who are now in foster settings.
The sisters and another man appeared Wednesday in Clay County District Court for charges stemming from a Tuesday drug arrest.
A petition to terminate Thomas' parental rights was filed last month in Clay County District Court claims she neglected her children and continually used illegal drugs.
Roy also faced child protection proceedings in Mahnomen County District Court, but the court dropped its case in September when the White Earth Tribal Court filed similar charges against Roy, said Mahnomen County Attorney Julie Bruggeman.
A spokeswoman with the tribal court declined Wednesday to release documents or information against Roy. She said the tribal court has different policies regarding the release of information than Minnesota courts.
But Clay County Attorney Lisa Borgen said termination proceedings are the last legal step against parents when they don't meet conditions set in protection hearings.
The Minnesota State Patrol arrested Roy and Thomas after a farmer called police Tuesday to report the possible theft of anhydrous ammonia from a field north of Georgetown, Minn.
Court records say:
Police also arrested David Jeffery Kelser, 41, for the apparent theft. The farmer saw the threesome acting suspicious about 8 a.m. Tuesday near an anhydrous tank in the field.
Authorities believe Kelser is from Washington.
A state patrol trooper arrested all three after stopping a red car driven by Thomas. The trooper found a tank full of ammonia in the backseat of the car and meth, marijuana and a motel room key in Kelser's pockets.
Anhydrous ammonia is used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, according to police.
Court records also say:
Later Tuesday, officers searched a motel room where Kelser stayed in Moorhead. There, they found an apparent meth lab.
Items found in a room at the Guest House Motel included acid, zylene, isopropyl alcohol, lithium batteries, coffee filters, ephedrine and containers believed used in the manufacture of meth.
Roy, Thomas and Kelser are each charged in Clay County District Court with first-degree manufacture of a controlled substance, a charge that carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence.
On Wednesday, Judge Michael Kirk set bail for Roy and Thomas at $20,000 and for Kelser at $50,000.
"Kids are always victims in these things," Chief Assistant Clay County Attorney Ken Kohler said after the court hearing. "I do know she (Roy) doesn't have custody of her kids."
If the three are convicted, the first-degree charge carries a minimum prison sentence of seven years, Kohler said.
All three also face felony charges for possessing and transporting anhydrous ammonia. State law prohibits anyone to possess the chemical for non-agricultural use.
Thomas is also charged with DUI, refusal to submit to an intoxilyzer test, driving after revocation, theft and no insurance.
Kelser, who at first gave authorities a false name, faces an additional first-degree manufacture charge and third-degree controlled substance sale and possession of marijuana in a motor vehicle.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Michael Benedict at (701) 241-5557