SOUTH PORTLAND — A man was arrested Sunday night after police said they evacuated a South Portland apartment building and later found materials consistent with a methamphetamine lab.

Police Chief Edward Googins, during a late night press conference, identified the man as Ricky Anderson.

Anderson, 36, of South Portland was charged with domestic violence criminal threatening, criminal mischief, obstructing the report of a crime, domestic violence assault, unlawful operation of a methamphetamine laboratory and unlawful possession of methamphetamines. He is being held without bail at Cumberland County Jail and is expected to appear in court Monday.

“The evidence, the materials we’ve gathered inside the apartment are consistent with a meth lab,” Googins told reporters.

Googins said the potentially dangerous situation began around 5:10 p.m. when a dispatcher for the Portland Regional Communications Center received a text message from a woman who said she was being threatened by her boyfriend at the Olde English Village apartment complex at 503 Westbrook St. in South Portland.

The woman, who escaped safely, told police that her boyfriend had been manufacturing illegal drugs in his apartment, Googins said.


Meth labs have been known to blow up, resulting in fires and the release of toxic chemicals.

Members of the South Portland Fire Department’s hazardous materials team responded to the incident at Olde English Village.

Googins said police believe that Anderson lived in Apartment 103 in Building D. There are several buildings within the complex, which abuts the densely populated Redbank neighborhood.

Googins said “out of concern” for residents’ safety members of the Southern Maine Regional SWAT team went door to door evacuating about 40 residents from the building. The residents were relocated to the Redbank Community Center, which served as a temporary shelter.

“We don’t know when they will be able to return,” Googins said. “We don’t know if it is going to be an hour, two hours or overnight.”

The man’s girlfriend also told police he had a shotgun in the apartment, but Googins said officers were never threatened by Anderson.


Googins said the situation escalated when Anderson refused to leave his apartment and ignored text messages and phone calls from police urging him to surrender.

Members of the SWAT team finally entered the apartment building around 9:30 p.m. and took Anderson into custody. He offered no resistance.

“This turned out to be a very complicated call,” Googins said. “There was a lot of stuff that we had to deal with.”

Residents were allowed to return to their apartments around 10:30 p.m.

As of Aug. 14, the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency had investigated at least 92 meth labs in the state this year. It was not immediately known if the MDEA was called in to investigate the South Portland incident Sunday night.

Gillian Graham contributed to this report.

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