Drug overdose death leads to Violet man’s arrest

A Violet man has been booked with obstruction of justice after he allegedly disposed of a syringe belonging to a man who died of a drug overdose Wednesday, according to St. Bernard Parish Sheriff James Pohlmann.

Lance Espadron, 35, told deputies he was driving a block away from his home when he found Rodney Sanchez, 57, stumbling. Espadron said he picked Sanchez up and brought him to his home on Guerra Drive.

Espadron told investigators that after Sanchez collapsed in his residence, he found a syringe in the man’s pants. He said he used the syringe to give the dying man a shot of salt water, a technique he told deputies he had hoped would revive him. He also claimed to have given Sanchez CPR before calling authorities.

According to Pohlmann, Sanchez was not breathing and unconscious on the floor in Espadron’s residence when deputies arrived. Emergency medical technicians worked on Sanchez, but he was pronounced dead at 3:42 p.m.

Espadron told deputies he flushed the syringe down a toilet before they arrived because he didn’t want to be caught with it.

In a statement to the Sheriff’s Office, Espadron said he traveled to New Orleans earlier that day to purchase a small amount of heroin, used it in the city and then disposed of the needle before returning to his home.

Pohlmann said Espadron was arrested because he destroyed evidence in the case and could face more serious charges, including negligent homicide, depending on the outcome of toxicology tests.

Espadron is being held in St. Bernard Parish Prison on a $10,000 bail.