BANGOR, Maine — The existence of murder charges and warrants against two men police say shot and killed three local people in a drug-related homicide in August was kept secret to give police a chance to find them before they knew they were wanted, a state prosecutor said Tuesday.
“In circumstances where we don’t know where they are, it gives us an advantage,” said Assistant Attorney General William Stokes, head of the criminal division in the Maine attorney general’s office.
Nicholas J. Sexton, 31 of Warwick, R.I., and Randall “Ricky” Daluz, 34, of Brockton, Mass., were secretly indicted by the Penobscot County grand jury on Sept. 26, after which fugitive from justice warrants against them were issued.
Sexton and Daluz, who had overlapping sentences at a Maine prison a few years ago, remained at large Tuesday and were the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
They are charged with three counts of knowing or intentional murder and one count of arson in the deaths of Daniel T. Borders, 26, of Hermon; Nicolle A. Lugdon, 24, of Eddington; and Lucas A. Tuscano, 28, of Bradford, whose bodies were found burned beyond recognition inside a white Pontiac sedan with Rhode Island plates that was discovered on fire early on Aug. 13 in Bangor.
“Everything is secret about the grand jury. Everything that goes on is confidential,” Stokes said. “What we occasionally do, when we have people whose whereabouts are not immediately known, is impound the indictment and warrant. It’s so we can get a head start on locating them.”
“Impounding an indictment is not unusual,” the state prosecutor said.
“What is unusual is the dispatcher in Brockton was happy to talk to you,” Stokes added, referring to the dispatcher from the Brockton (Mass.) Police Department who confirmed for the Bangor Daily News last Friday that officers in his department were looking for Sexton.
“Once that happened, it really destroyed the advantage we had for having an impounded indictment and warrant,” Stokes said. “That is why I asked the court to unseal the indictment.”
Stokes successfully petitioned a judge on Monday morning to release the information about the triple murder suspects and the case, and that information was released at an afternoon press conference at the Bangor police station.
Whether law enforcement had the two out-of-state suspects under surveillance is something Stokes said he wouldn’t discuss. Maine investigators have worked with several police agencies in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, Bangor police Lt. Tim Reid said Monday, and Stokes added Tuesday that the FBI also is a partnering agency.
Both Sexton and Daluz were still on the lam Tuesday evening. Their names have been added to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, Bangor police Sgt. Jim Buckley said.
“If they [law enforcement officers] come up with them anywhere in the country, it should come up on their computer,” the sergeant said, alerting them to the fact that the men are wanted in Maine for a triple homicide.
Photos, fingerprints, height, weight, date of birth, Social Security numbers and other identifying items, such as tattoos, can be put into the national repository for criminal justice information, Greg Comcowich, a special agent with the FBI in Boston, said Tuesday.
Daluz has a tattoo on his left arm, according to a background check of him by the BDN through the Maine State Bureau of Identification.
The three homicide victims were shot and their bodies were set on fire inside a car left in the back parking lot of Automatic Distributors at 22 Target Industrial Circle, Reid said.
Both Sexton and Daluz have stabbed people in the past in the Bangor region, spent time in the same prison and have drug convictions, according to BDN archives.
Sexton stabbed a 35-year-old Bangor man in the neck early on July 31, 2005, in the parking lot of the Leadbetters Mini Stop on Hammond Street and was sentenced in March 2006 to serve two years in the Maine Correctional Center in Windham.
While Sexton was in prison, Daluz was arrested at gunpoint by Orono police officers in June 2006 for stabbing a 30-year-old Swanville man at the Irving station in Orono. He was convicted of aggravated assault in March 2007 and sentenced to a year in prison at Windham.
Whether the two met while in prison is something Stokes said he did not know. Messages left Tuesday with Jody Breton, spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, about whether the two served time in the same unit were not immediately returned.
Shortly after Sexton was discharged from prison, in early 2008, he was arrested again in Bangor and charged with drug possession. He was sentenced in April 2008 to 90 days in jail and a $400 fine.
Daluz was arrested by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency for having cocaine base in 2011. On Feb. 23 of this year he pleaded guilty to felony illegal importation of drugs and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and a $400 fine.
Massachusetts privacy laws do not allow the public to run statewide criminal background checks, and the law bars law enforcement and prosecutors from sharing any criminal conviction data, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz’s spokeswoman, Bridget Norton Middleton, said Tuesday.
She said to get conviction data, reporters must check with the individual courts.
Sexton also has convictions from Brockton, Mass., according to Brockton Enterprise reporter Justin Graeber, who ran his name at the Brockton District Court.
“He was convicted of breaking and entering in the nighttime … and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in 2003, and disorderly conduct in 2000,” he said.
“Nicholas Sexton and Randall Daluz are considered armed and extremely dangerous,” Reid said Monday. “Anyone with information concerning their whereabouts [is] urged to call their local law enforcement agency.”
The Bangor Police Department can be reached at 947-7382. The department’s anonymous tip line can be reached by pressing ext. 6.