East Coast MS-13 gang leader known as ‘Reaper’ sentenced to life in prison

One of the U.S.-based leaders of the international gang Mara Salvatrucha, widely known as MS-13, will be spending the rest of his life behind bars.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, also known as “Reaper,” has been sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder in the aid of racketeering, and other charges.

Although 41-year-old Diaz is from Long Branch, New Jersey, the DOJ said that Corea Diaz operated a branch, or “clique” of MS-13 based out of Langley Park, Maryland, known as the Sailors Locos Salvatruchos Westside (S.L.S.W. or “Sailors”) between 2015 to 2018.

“[Corea Diaz] … 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,” said Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly.

With the help of co-defendant Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno, the DOJ said that the Sailors extorted local immigrant-run businesses by charging them “rent” for the privilege of operating in MS-13 “territory.”

The Sailors also trafficked marijuana and cocaine. Proceeds from those illegal sales were sent to the gang’s leadership in El Salvador.

The Sailors were known for being violent against rival gang members, as well as its own membership for breaking gang rules.

In its case, the DOJ said that, in March 2017, a member of the Sailors, who was hiding from law enforcement in the Lynchburg, Virginia area, had a dispute with a local high school student over marijuana. In response, Corea Diaz and Alvarado-Requeno organized a squad of MS-13 members who drove down to Lynchburg and murdered the teenager.

The department laid out how gang members kidnapped the student from his front lawn and cut off his hand before killing him. Following the murder, Corea Diaz and Alvarado-Requeno also helped to hide and protect the killers from law enforcement, they said.

“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,” said U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron.

“With the help of members of our communities, we will work to bring to justice those MS-13 members who commit these horrible crimes.”

Other parts of Maryland where MS-13 street gangs have been known to operate are Frederick County, Anne Arundel County and Montgomery County.

The litany of charges that landed Corea Diaz in prison include conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering; murder in aid of racketeering; conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine, and heroin; and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

Corea Diaz was convicted of those charges by a federal jury on Nov. 23, 2021.

Alvarado-Requeno, also known as “Insolente” and “Trankilo,” a 24-year-old from Landover, was also convicted at trial and faces a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. The DOJ said his sentencing hearing will take place April 25.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up