(Trends Wide) — An MS-13 leader, once known as the gang’s highest-ranking member on the East Coast, was sentenced to life in prison in the United States on Friday for conspiring to commit multiple murders, according to court documents.
Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, 41, also known as “Reaper,” was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder with the assistance of racketeering, murder with the aid of racketeering, conspiracy to commit drug trafficking, and possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances.
Trends Wide has contacted Diaz’s attorney, Steve Mercer, for comment.
“Corea Diaz’s brutality is almost unfathomable,” Maryland US Attorney Erek L. Barron said in a press release. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to eliminate these violent gang members and keep our communities safe from the violence perpetrated by MS-13. With the help of members of our communities, we will work to bring to justice the members of MS-13 who commit these horrific crimes.”
Between approximately 2010 and October 2017, Corea Diaz “allegedly conspired with members and associates of MS-13 to engage in a pattern of organized crime activity, including murder, extortion, money laundering, witness tampering, and distribution of controlled substances,” according to court documents.
On September 26 and 29, 2017, Corea Diaz was charged with ordering accused gang members to commit murders in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Prince George’s County, Maryland, authorities said. Authorities foiled both murders.
Corea Diaz reported directly to gang leaders in El Salvador, who received gang profits and ran groups in El Salvador and the United States, according to the indictment.
Corea was arrested in October 2017. In January, he was indicted along with 16 other suspected gang members on associated conspiracy to commit murder and drug trafficking charges, the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office said.
MS-13, also known as the Mara Salvatrucha, is one of the largest criminal organizations in the United States, according to the Department of Justice.
Decades ago, Salvadoran immigrants fleeing the country’s civil war started MS-13 in Los Angeles. Its members also include immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and other Central and South American countries, according to an FBI Threat Assessment of the gang.