Man Who Caused Elsinore Resident’s Fentanyl-Induced Death Bound for Prison

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

MURRIETA (CNS) – A man who sold a deadly dose of fentanyl to a 26-year- old Lake Elsinore resident was bound for state prison Monday to serve an 11- year sentence.

Everardo Martinez Rodriguez, 31, of Lake Elsinore pleaded guilty in May to voluntary manslaughter and sentence-enhancing allegations of targeting a vulnerable victim and taking advantage of a position of trust.

In exchange for his admissions, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped a second-degree murder charge against Rodriguez.

During a hearing Friday at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, Superior Court Judge John Monterosso certified the terms of the plea agreement and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense.

The defendant was arrested last year following a sheriff’s investigation into the death of Gavin Battle.

According to Sgt. Ryan Marcuse, on Jan. 5, 2021, deputies and paramedics were called to the victim’s residence in the 29000 block of Central Avenue, near Conrad Avenue, to investigate reports of a possible drug-related cardiac arrest.

Battle was found dead at the location, Marcuse said, adding that an autopsy revealed “fentanyl poisoning” as the cause of death, prompting an investigation that ultimately pointed to Rodriguez as the dealer who supplied an undisclosed quantity of the synthetic opioid.

An arrest warrant was obtained and served by deputies on March 4, 2022 at the defendant’s home on Limited Avenue, where he was taken into custody without a struggle.

Rodriguez had a misdemeanor vandalism conviction from 2012, but no felony convictions, according to court records.

Since February 2021, more than two dozen people countywide have been charged in connection with fentanyl poisonings.

According to public safety officials, there were 503 confirmed fentanyl-related fatalities countywide last year, compared to just under 400 in 2021, a 200-fold increase from 2016, when there were only two.

Fentanyl is manufactured in overseas labs, principally in China, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The agency said it’s smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border by cartels. The drug is 80-100 times more potent than morphine and can be mixed into any number of street narcotics and prescription drugs, without a user knowing what he or she is consuming. Ingestion of only two milligrams can be fatal.

Fentanyl is now the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45 years old, statistics show.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

Suscribe Form Desktop


Submit your suggestions and questions

Nbc Palm Spring Logo

Download our App

Apple Store Logo

Play Store Logo