An MS-13 gang leader was sentenced to life in prison Friday.
Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, 41, of Long Branch, New Jersey, was sentenced for conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering and murder in aid of racketeering; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine and heroin; and possession with intent to distribute heroin, according to a Justice Department news release.
He was convicted during a November trial.
“The brutality of Corea Diaz is almost unfathomable. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to remove these violent gang members to keep our communities safe from the violence perpetrated by MS-13,” U.S. Attorney Erek Barron said.
The significance of the arrest and conviction of C0rea Diaz was noted by Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly.
“Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, also known as Reaper, reported directly to the gang’s top leadership in El Salvador and was responsible for implementing MS-13’s program of violence and intimidation on the East Coast,” she said.
“In 2017, our office, working with dedicated members of the Drug Enforcement Administration, began an investigation into illicit narcotics, which were being trafficked and distributed on Long Island,” she said.
“That investigation quickly mushroomed as we learned more about MS-13 and the reign of terror being directed by Corea Diaz. Working with more than 20 agencies, we disrupted MS-13 operations on the East Coast,” she said.
MS-13 East Coast leader Miguel Angel Corea Diaz is sentenced to life in prison on racketeering and murder charges.https://t.co/lWp9D4N6Rm
— The Tornado News (@TheTornadoNews) April 1, 2022
“Corea Diaz and his co-conspirators were ruthless and showed no regard for human life by extorting innocent people, tampering with witnesses, and ordering a murder over a drug dispute,” said Steven. D’Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office.
“With today’s sentence, Corea Diaz will no longer be able to commit senseless violence and homicidal acts on our streets,” he said.
According to prosecutors, between 2015 and 2018, Corea Diaz and co-defendant Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno controlled and operated MS-13’s Sailors Clique, which prosecutors said ran a protection scheme in and around its home base in Langley Park, Maryland.
Money extorted from local businesses was sent to gang leaders in El Salvador, the release said.
The release noted a March 2017 incident in which Corea-Diaz and co-defendant Alvarado-Requeno were involved in the murder of a high school student from Lynchburg, Virginia, who was involved in a dispute over drugs with an MS-13 gang member.
“The gang members kidnapped the student from his front lawn and cut his hand off before killing him,” the Justice Department said in its release.
Alvarado-Requeno, who was also convicted on federal charges, will be sentenced later this month.
“Any time we can get a notorious gang member off the streets, it is a victory for both law enforcement and law-abiding citizens,” Special Agent in Charge James Mancuso of HSI Baltimore said. “In this case, the criminal is particularly violent, and now he will face the consequences of his crimes.”
Corea Diaz’s attorney, Steve Mercer, had requested a sentence of no more than 21 years and two months, according to CNN.