By: Richard L. Smith
A federal jury convicted a Newark resident Tuesday for his role in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over one kilogram of heroin, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Selling announced.
Federal officials said Furad Loyal, 41, was convicted at trial before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court on three counts of the indictment against him: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Officials say he was acquitted on one count of firearm possession in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Loyal was a heroin supplier and a member of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that operated in and around Hayes Street and 14th Avenue in the area of the New Community Corporation community development (NCC) in Newark.
In addition to selling narcotics in and around NCC, the members shared narcotics supply, narcotics proceeds, and customers.
On Nov. 21, 2017, Loyal was found inside the apartment of an NCC resident, where he was stashing his heroin, his firearm, and over $11,000 in cash.
From March to August 2018, Loyal and 27 other members of the DTO were charged by criminal complaints with conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine base; Loyal also was charged with firearms offenses.
The other 27 defendants have all since pleaded guilty to crimes in connection with their roles in the DTO.
The heroin trafficking conspiracy count on which Loyal was convicted carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum potential penalty of life in prison, and a $10 million fine.
The drug distribution and possession with intent to distribute count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The firearm count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Loyal’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 26, 2023.