Two women charged with allegedly providing drugs before fatal Rockland overdose

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 5:00pm

    ROCKLAND —  Two women have been arrested for allegedly providing drugs to a Rockland man that contributed to his death in May 2020.

    The investigation conducted by Rockland Police Sgt. Alex Gaylor began following the overdose death of Raymond Merrifield, 38, on May 13. Evidence discovered during the investigation lead to the separate arrests of Lynn Jones, 56, of Rockland, on Oct. 9, 2020 and Audria Ariza, 33, of Bangor, on Feb. 24.

    Both Arizia and Jones were charged by police with felony trafficking in scheduled drugs. Jones was charged with a Class C crime since she allegedly sold drugs within 1,000 feet of Oceanside High School in Rockland, which is designated as a safe zone.

    Arizia made her initial appearance in Knox County Unified Court Feb. 26 where Justice Robert Murray set bail at $10,000 cash. She currently remains at the Knox County Jail in Rockland.

    Jones appeared in court Feb. 25 for a dispositional conference. A second dispositional conference is scheduled for March 11.

    According to the affidavit filed by Gaylor in Knox County Unified Court, police said the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner Office, in Augusta, confirmed that the cause of Merrifield’s death was accidental acute intoxication from the combined effects of methadone and clonazepam, the drugs police found at the scene.

    Police stated in the affidavit they found Facebook messages with Raymond talking to various people about illicit drugs and that he was going to get some methadone from Ariza. In a message dating back to February 2020, she allegedly said that she will provide him “take home methadone,” a common slang term for the drug.

    Ariza and Merrifield then met in Hope where he received the drug, police said.

    Jones denied knowing Merrifield and providing him clonazepam, but she did tell police that she sold pills to another person on May 12, 2020, police said.

    Ariza is scheduled to appear in court again May 13.

    Sarah Shepherd can be reached at