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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

MS-13 Member Pleads Guilty to RICO Conspiracy Involving Murder

Defendant admits responsibility for the murder of a 16-year-old in East Boston

BOSTON – An MS-13 member pleaded guilty today in federal court in Boston to racketeering conspiracy involving the murder of a 16-year-old boy in East Boston.  

Edwin Diaz, a/k/a “Demente,” 20, a Salvadoran national, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conduct enterprise affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity, more commonly referred to as RICO or racketeering conspiracy. U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV scheduled sentencing for Aug. 20, 2018.

At today’s hearing, the Court accepted the defendant’s guilty plea but deferred acceptance of the plea agreement until the sentencing. Under the terms of the proposed plea agreement, Diaz will be sentenced to 35 years in prison and be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence. 

After a multi-year investigation, Diaz was one of dozens of alleged leaders, members, and associates of MS-13 named in a superseding indictment unsealed in January 2016 that targeted MS-13’s criminal activities in Massachusetts. Diaz is the 45th defendant to be convicted as part of that ongoing prosecution.

Diaz was a “homeboy,” or full member, of MS-13’s “Westers” clique. On Jan. 10, 2016, Diaz and other MS-13 members murdered a 16-year-old boy whom they believed to be a member of the rival 18th Street gang. The victim was stabbed and shot multiple times. A few days after the murder, Diaz was caught on tape admitting to stabbing the victim multiple times, and he was arrested soon thereafter.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Peter Fitzhugh,  Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police; Commissioner Thomas Turco of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections; Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger; Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Thompkins; Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley; Middlesex County District Attorney Marian T. Ryan; Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Chelsea Police Chief Brian A. Kyes; Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie; Lynn Police Chief Michael Mageary; Revere Police Chief James Guido; and Somerville Police Chief David Fallon made the announcement.

The remaining defendants charged in this case are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated May 9, 2018