Charges allege he provided the deadly heroin to the victim.
There have been 30 overdose deaths in St. Paul so far this year.
Preliminary data show a substantial increase in overdose deaths, especially among synthetic opioids and psychostimulant drugs.
The arrest was made nearly one month after the 23-year-old's death.
He made the comment during a Crow Wing County board meeting.
The local sheriff says the county sees "4-6 heroin overdoses every day."