Two New York residents are facing charges after allegedly setting a Richmond house on fire to collect a drug debt.

Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland says the two arrived in Richmond in a taxi that was rented in Portland, after arriving by bus earlier in the day from New York. They were allegedly intent on collecting a drug debt at a Richmond residence. On the way to the house, they stopped at a convenience store where they bought a can of gasoline.

A car parked in the driveway of the Pitts Corner Road home was destroyed by fire, and police say gasoline was spread throughout the house. A woman and her teenage daughter, who were home at the time, were able to get out unharmed. Officials say the damage to the residence was minimal, but there was a heavy gasoline smell in the home.

The two suspects were caught when their taxi was stopped by police along Interstate 295 in Topsham, shortly after the fire. Fire Marshals charged 26-year-old Todd Dickson and 25-year-old Joris Gomez with two counts of arson, along with the burglary and theft. Maine Drug Enforcement agents also charged the pair with trafficking in heroin before they were taken to the Two Bridge Jail in Wiscasset.

The day before the fire, drug agents had arrested another woman, who has been living at the Richmond home with selling heroin. 27-year-old Lorretta Susan Perkins was arrested in Wiscasset, where police seized crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine. Also seized were $1,000 in cash and drug ledger books. Perkins was also taken to Two Bridges.

Assisting in this investigation were the Wiscasset, Topsham, Brunswick, and Richmond Police Departments, along with the Sagadahoc Sheriff's Office, and the Richmond Fire Department.

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