Gang leader gets 22 years without parole for trafficking heroin and fentanyl in NJ jail

A Hudson County gang leader is to spend the next 22 years in federal penitentiary for trafficking heroin and fentanyl in a New Jersey state prison.

Noel “Kuko” Salgado, 41, was serving time when he had outside associates smuggle drugs into Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, Cumberland County, federal authorities said.

An inmate who used the contraband drugs overdosed and was resuscitated with Narcan after being unconscious for nearly 20 minutes before requiring hospitalization, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said.

Salgado — who led the “Loyal Hoody Gang,” a grassroots group in the nationwide Neighborhood Rolling 20 Bloods — took a chance on a jury rather than accept a plea deal with the government.

He was eventually convicted after a four-day trial in US District Court in Newark last October on charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl and was sentenced to 264 months.

There is no parole in the federal prison system, which means Salgado must serve just about the full sentence. He will be nearly 65 when he is finally released.

In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge William J. Martini sentenced Salgado to three years of probation.

An accomplice, Jasmir Humphrey of Jersey City, has already been sentenced to more than 11 years for his role in smuggling drugs into the prison from outside. She, too, must serve her full term.

Sellinger credited FBI special agents and New Jersey Department of Corrections investigators with the investigation that led to Salgado’s conviction and sentencing, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher D. Amore and Elaine K. Lou from his office in Newark.

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