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Two charged after investigation of Rockland overdose death

By Stephen Betts | Feb 25, 2021
Photo by: Stephen Betts

Rockland — Two women have been charged following a lengthy investigation into the May 2020 overdose death of a Rockland man.

Audria Ariza, 33, of Bangor, was arrested Feb. 24 by Rockland police and charged with Class A aggravated trafficking in methadone. The criminal complaint alleges that Ariza provided the methadone which contributed to the May 13, 2020 death of Raymond F. Merrifield in Rockland.

An affidavit filed with in the Knox County court by Rockland Police Sgt. Alex Gaylor states Merrifield died from accidental acute intoxication from the combined effects of methadone and clonazepam.

The affidavit stated police found Facebook messages between Merrifield and Ariza, where she talks about providing her take-home methadone to him. She met with Merrifield in Hope after she picked up her take-home dosage of methadone May 10.

Ariza was taken to the Knox County Jail in Rockland and remained there as of Feb. 25 in lieu of $25,000 cash bail. She made her initial appearance Friday, Feb. 26 where Justice Robert Murray set bail at $10,000 cash.

The maximum sentence for aggravated trafficking connected to a death is 30 years in prison.

The affidavit also said the investigation led to Lynn M. Jones, 56, of Rockland who denied providing Merrifield any clonazepam but claimed to have sold 10 pills to someone else May 12.

Jones was charged, with Class C aggravated trafficking in drugs. The charge was a felony because the alleged transaction occurred on Simmons Street, which is within 1,000 feet of Oceanside High School in Rockland.

Jones was arrested Oct. 9. Her next court hearing is scheduled for Feb. 25.

Merrifield was 38 at the time of his death.

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