Renter of Orrington home that was set ablaze, hit by gunfire arrested

Penobscot County Sheriff's deputies and state police responded to reports of shots fired off the Johnson Mill Road in Orrington overnight. A property with several residences, including a commercial garage, were cordoned off with yellow public safety tape Sunday morning, July 22, 2012.
Penobscot County Sheriff's deputies and state police responded to reports of shots fired off the Johnson Mill Road in Orrington overnight. A property with several residences, including a commercial garage, were cordoned off with yellow public safety tape Sunday morning, July 22, 2012.
Posted July 24, 2012, at 12:45 p.m.

ORRINGTON, Maine — The man who rented the home set ablaze early Sunday and later damaged by gunshots was arrested for trafficking in heroin, Darrell Crandall, MDEA division commander for northern Maine, said Tuesday.

David Ireland, 46, was charged with Class B drug trafficking early Sunday evening after firefighters and police, and later MDEA agents, responded to the home he rents at 312 Johnson Mill Road that was hit by an arsonist about 2:15 a.m. Sunday.

“We did charge him with trafficking in heroin,” Crandall said.

About $500 worth of heroin was found at Ireland’s residence.

“We’re alleging it was possession with the intent to distribute,” the MDEA commander said.

The Johnson Mill Road investigation led drug agents to a considerable amount of street drugs at another residence, Crandall said Monday.

“We executed a search warrant at another residence … and have seized a substantial quantity of drugs,” he said.

Because of the ongoing investigation, the type of drugs seized and the exact amount are still being withheld, Crandall said Tuesday.

No one has been charged in the drug raid at the second residence, he said.

The arsonist poured an accelerant three-quarters of the way around the home and then ignited the flammable liquid, Sgt. Ken Grimes of the state fire marshal’s office said Monday.

After the fire was started, the arsonist or someone else took out a gun and fired at the residence, which had people inside, Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross confirmed Monday.

Most of the fire was extinguished with a garden hose by the landlord of the rental property, who lives nearby.

Ireland was booked into the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor about 5 p.m. Sunday and was later released, a jail official said.

Fire investigators have not made an arrest for the arson, but “have a person of interest,” Grimes said. The sheriff’s department is still investigating who is responsible for the gunshots.

Two people recently had been visiting Ireland, who has lived at the Johnson Mill Road home for about a year, a neighbor said.

Ireland, who has convictions for criminal threatening, disorderly conduct and assault, according to court listings printed in the Bangor Daily News, faces a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted of felony drug trafficking.

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