Two men with criminal records who allegedly robbed a Lewiston bank at gunpoint were being held Sunday night at the Cumberland County Jail in Portland on federal charges.

Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce said Neil West, 64, of Portland and Joseph E. Richards, 46, of Manchester, New Hampshire, were being held without bail.

West was being held for the U.S. Marshals Service on pending federal charges. Joyce did not know what those charges are, but he said Richards has been charged with robbery.

The men entered the TD Bank on Lisbon Street in Lewiston around 9 a.m. Saturday and robbed the bank at gunpoint, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.

Police spotted West and Richards in a minivan on the Maine Turnpike in Scarborough, which led to a brief, high-speed chase. WCSH-TV reported that the minivan reached speeds of 100 mph.

The chase ended on Ferry Lane in Saco, a dead-end street off Route 9, near Ferry Beach State Park. The Portland television station also reported that a Maine State Police cruiser was damaged in the attempt to stop the van as it ran over shrubs and small trees and swerved through driveways in the Saco neighborhood.

The chase ended when the minivan crashed, WCSH reported. West was arrested at the scene of the crash, but Richards fled. He was apprehended in a wooded area after being tracked by a police dog from the Old Orchard Beach department.

West does not have a criminal record in Maine. But according to the Springfield (Vermont) Police Department’s Facebook page, West, who was then living in Keene, New Hampshire, was arrested in February 2012 in Springfield on a federal warrant charging him with aiding and abetting a bank robbery. Springfield police said West was considered armed and dangerous. He was arrested without incident.

Richards does have a criminal record in Maine, according to the State Bureau of Identification. He was arrested by Portland police on a felony robbery charge in May 1991. He was convicted of robbery and reckless conduct with a firearm and was sentenced later that year to 12 years at the Maine State Prison.

In 1995, while he was still at the prison in Warren, Richards was charged with attempted murder, but that charge was dismissed after he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of aggravated assault. State criminal records do not offer more specifics on the nature of that assault or when he was released from prison.

Kristen Setera, a spokeswoman for the FBI in Boston, said West and Richards are expected to make their first court appearance Monday.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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