RICHMOND, Maine — A man and a woman from New York have been charged with selling heroin and committing arson after attempting to burn down a Richmond house Wednesday night.
Maine's Public Safety spokesperson Steve MCausland said the two arrived in Richmond the evening of May 1 in a taxi rented in Portland. They had taken a bus from New York to Maine earlier in the day.
McCausland said the reason the two were traveling to Maine was to collect drug money.
On the way to the house, the two suspects stopped at a convenience store and bought a can of gasoline, according to McCausland. This fuel was used to start the fire at the Richmond home on Pitts Corner Road.
A car parked in the driveway of the home was destroyed by the fire. Gasoline was also spread throughout the house.
The two occupants of the house, a woman and her teenage daughter, fled the home unharmed. The home itself had minor fire damage but does smell heavily of gasoline.
The two suspects left in the same taxi, but the car was stopped by police shortly afterward along I-295 in Topsham. This is where McCausland said Todd Dickson, 26, and Joris Gomez, 25, both from New York City, were arrested.
Fire marshals charged Dickson and Gomez with two counts of arson, as well as burglary and theft. Drug agents charged them with aggravated trafficking in heroin.
Dickson and Gomez were taken to the Two Bridges Jail in Wiscasset.
The day before on Tuesday, April 30, drug agents had arrested another woman who was living at the Richmond home. Lorretta Susan Perkins, 27, was arrested in Wiscasset for selling heroin.
During Perkins' arrest, police seized crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and meth. McCausland said they also seized drug ledger books and $1,000 in cash.
Perkins was also taken to Two Bridges Jail, and her arrest led agents to start looking for Dickson and Gomez as suppliers of the drugs, according to McCausland.