SKOWHEGAN — Two people have been indicted by a Somerset County grand jury on felony arson and conspiracy charges in connection with alleged insurance fraud July 24 in Bingham.

Anthony E. Salisbury, 24, of School Street, Solon, and Jennifer M. Sandoval, 30, of Pleasant Street, Solon, each are charged by the grand jury with class A arson, class B conspiracy to commit arson and theft by insurance deception, a class C felony, in the alleged arson-for-hire scheme. The class A charges carry a maximum of 30 years in prison upon conviction, while the class B and class C charges are punishable by 10 years and five years each, respectively.

The grand jury alleges that Sandoval agreed to pay Salisbury to burn her car, constituting the arson and conspiracy charges. She then allegedly collected more than $1,000 from the insurance company, according to the indictment, which brought the theft by deception charge.

Salisbury and Sandoval were arrested in mid-December. According to an affidavit filed by Jeremy R. Damren of the state fire marshal’s office, Sandoval paid Salisbury $300 to set her green 2002 Dodge Caravan on fire so that she could collect $2,108.68 from Geico Insurance.

On July 24, the Bingham Fire Department and Somerset County sheriff’s Deputy Toby Blodgett responded to a report of a smoking vehicle off Brighton Road. On Nov. 20, Sandoval admitted to arranging for her van to be destroyed and that she, Salisbury and other people were drinking at her house that night, according to the affidavit. She said that when she received the insurance money months later, she met Salisbury in a parking lot in Solon and gave him $300 for burning her vehicle.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt but a determination by the grand jury that enough evidence is present to bring the case to trial.

Others indicted by the grand jury include:

• Melissa J. Winchenbach, 35, of Skowhegan, charged with felony burglary and felony theft, Dec. 6 in Fairfield.

• Edward R. Tardiff, 29, of Albion, charged with one count of felony operating after license revocation, Aug. 7, in Fairfield. Tardiff has previous motor vehicle convictions, raising the crime to a class C felony.

• Jeremy A. Goodwin, 24, of Lovely’s Motel, Palmyra, charged with felony domestic violence assault and misdemeanor refusing to submit to arrest, Jan. 1 in Palmyra. Goodwin has previous convictions for domestic violence.

• Joshua A. Stickney, 26, of Anson, charged with felony burglary and theft of property valued at more than $10,000 in the period of May 27 to 30, 2016, in Lexington Township.

• Ricky J. Pedersen, 28, of Hartland, charged with felony burglary and with theft and unauthorized use of property, Dec. 22 in Hartland.

• Brian Leavitt, 30, and Ashleigh Richmond, 26, both of the same Pittsfield address, charged with felony aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, along with seven counts each of criminal forfeiture of cash and property, Dec. 29 in Pittsfield.

• Christopher J. Gifford, 36, of Anson, charged with felony aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs, felony possession of scheduled drugs and one count of criminal forfeiture of property, Nov. 25 in Norridgewock.

• William J. Mclain Sr., 56, of Clinton, charged with one felony count of unlawful trafficking of scheduled drugs, July 24 in Canaan.

• Robert William Bernier, 49, of New Vineyard, charged with felony aggravated criminal operating under the influence and with operating after suspension, Dec. 29 in New Portland. He has a prior OUI conviction.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: