NEWARK, N.J. – An Essex County, New Jersey man was convicted today 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.
Furad Loyal, 41, of Newark, 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, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was acquitted on one count of possession of a firearm 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 complaint 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.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, and members of the Newark Department of Public Safety, under the direction of Director Fritz Fragé, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdict. He also thanked the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, the New Jersey Department of Corrections, New Jersey State Parole, and the U.S. Marshals for their assistance.
Loyal and the NCC drug trafficking organization were part of the original Violent Crime Initiative (VCI). The VCI was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety for the sole purpose of combatting violent crime in and around the Newark. As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate and pool resources to prosecute violent offenders who endanger the safety of the community. The VCI is comprised of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the ATF, the DEA’s New Jersey Division, the U.S. Marshals, the Newark Department of Public Safety, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey State Parole, Union County Jail, New Jersey State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center, New Jersey Department of Corrections, the East Orange Police Department, and the Irvington Police Department.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elaine K. Lou and Christopher D. Amore of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.