Judge sets bail at $25,000 cash

Man accused of selling drug that contributed to the death of Thomaston man

Posted:  Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 8:30pm
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ROCKLAND — A Dexter man remains in the Knox County Jail, accused of selling the drug, fentanyl, that contributed to the death of a Thomaston man in January.

Joshua Nickerson, 39, is charged with two counts of Class A aggravated trafficking in drugs, with a prior conviction.

Nickerson was arrested May 8 and appeared before Judge Paul Mathews in Knox County Unified Court May 10. His bail was set at $25,000 cash, with no third party bail allowed.

According to the affidavit filed in court by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation focused on the death of Ryan Gamage, who was 32 when he died in Rockport Jan. 6.

The report from the Medical Examiners Officer confirmed that Gamage’s cause of death was acute intoxication from the combined effects of fentanyl and sertraline. Gamage had a prescription for the sertraline, used to treat depression and anxiety disorders.

The investigation by police included reviewing Gamage’s cellphone records. They found text and Facebook messages between Gamage and Nickerson about a transaction to obtain drugs, police said. The messages included details about the price of the drugs, the amount, and a meeting location. Gamage received the drugs from Nickerson at a Walmart in Palmyra, according to the affidavit.

The transaction was confirmed by a surveillance video in Walmart that showed Nickerson in the store and both vehicles of the two men in the parking lot, according to court documents.

Nickerson was interviewed May 8 by Maine Drug Enforcement agents and Knox County Sheriff’s Office Detective Donald Murray in Dexter, where the suspect resided. When police interviewed Nickerson, he initially denied selling drugs to Gamage, but confirmed that he sold drugs to other individuals, according to the affidavit.

He later admitted to police that he did sell drugs to Gamage, but that it was a small amount. The court document stated that Nickerson sold heroin and fentanyl to Gamage for $500.

Nickerson will appear in court again on June 27.

Sarah Shepherd can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com