A Jersey City gang leader was convicted of distributing heroin and fentanyl in prison, which lead to an inmate overdose, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Noel Salgado, also known as “Kuko,” 41, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl and one count of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl which resulted in serious bodily injury, Honig said in a statement.
Salgado was found guilty following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini in Newark federal court.
The jury did not reach a unanimous verdict against co-defendant Rodgerick Garrett, who was indicted with Salgado back in September 2019.
While incarcerated at Bayside State Prison, Salgado directed associates to provide narcotics proceeds to him and his associates and to smuggle narcotics into prison to distribute to other inmates.
On October 17th, 2015, Salgado called an associate from prison to arrange for the purchase and smuggling into the prison of heroin and fentanyl. Another conspirator picked up the narcotics and smuggled them to Salgado the following day.
The following day, an inmate to whom Salgado had distributed the narcotics was found unresponsive in his cell suffering from a drug overdose.
The inmate stopped breathing on his own and remained unconscious for approximately 20 minutes before medical personnel administered Narcan to revive him. The inmate was hospitalized for two days.
The charge of distribution and possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl, resulting in serious bodily injury, on which the defendant was convicted, carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a maximum $1 million fine.
The conspiracy charge on which he was convicted carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison.