Hudson County Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for Distributing Heroin and Fentanyl in Prison, Resulting in Inmate Overdose

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NEWARK, N.J. – A Hudson County, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 264 months in prison for his role in trafficking heroin and fentanyl into a New Jersey state prison, resulting in the overdose of one of the inmates, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Noel Salgado, aka “Kuko,” 41, was previously 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, following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge William J. Martini, who imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to the documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

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 Oct. 17, 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 on Oct. 18, 2015. 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.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Martini sentenced Salgado to three years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael Messenger, and investigators with the N.J. Department of Corrections, under the direction of Acting Commissioner Victoria L. Kuhn, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher D. Amore and Elaine K. Lou of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.