Three charged in fentanyl overdose deaths of Santa Rosa father, 13-month-old son
SAN FRANCISCO — Federal prosecutors filed charges Wednesday against three Santa Rosa residents suspected of supplying the lethal dose of fentanyl blamed for the deaths of a Santa Rosa father and his 13-month old son in September.
The three defendants — Shane Cratty, 26, Lindsay Williams, 32, and Leanna Zamora, 29 — were charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
Prosecutors allege the drugs, purchased by Zamora in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, were sold to Williams on Sept. 13 and delivered to the father by Cratty.
The father, Patrick O’Neill, 29, and his son, Liam, were found lying on his bedroom floor early the next morning after the baby’s mother discovered them. The baby was declared dead after paramedics were unable to revive him. O’Neill, who went into cardiac arrest soon after arriving at a hospital, died two days later.
An autopsy of the 13-month-old boy determined he died from acute fentanyl intoxication, while O’Neill died from complications related to fentanyl intoxication, the charging document shows.
Investigators found about a fifth of a gram of fentanyl on the floor several feet away from O’Neill and his son. A scrap of aluminum foil also found nearby tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl residue, while a second scrap tested positive for meth only.
Zamora, who was arrested after the deaths, told Santa Rosa police officers that she got the fentanyl from a dealer in the Tenderloin area of San Francisco, the criminal complaint shows.
“The drugs in this case originated here in the Tenderloin and I have grave concern about the existence of an open-air drug market in a wonderful city like San Francisco,” U.S. Attorney David Anderson said Wednesday at a news conference in San Francisco. “When we tolerate this open-air drug market in the heart of our city, the harms that it creates are not contained to the neighborhood where this drug market exists.
Cratty was arrested in Texas on Tuesday night, Anderson said, and inmate logs showed Williams and Zamora were in custody at the Sonoma County Jail for local cases. All three were charged with distribution of controlled substances. If convicted, each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.
After Liam’s death and while O’Neill lay dying in a hospital, Cratty gave an on-camera interview with KRON 4 TV in San Francisco in which he lamented the fact that his friend had started using drugs again.
“I’m almost positive Pat had been clean for a number of months at this point and I think it was probably the first time he had used the drug,” he said.
“And you know it could’ve fallen out of his pocket or like I really don’t know. I’ve been trying to figure it out for the last two days.”
In the Sept. 16 interview, Cratty, who is suspected of giving O’Neill the drug, warned of its dangers and said he personally had saved dozens of people from overdosing.
“People should really not use fentanyl at all. It’s very dangerous depending on how potent, how pure it is. One little speck like a grain of sand can kill you,” Cratty said. “It should somehow just be taken off the streets completely.”