Two MS-13 Leaders Convicted of Racketeering Conspiracy and Conspiring to Commit Multiple Murders
Directed and/or Participated in Three Murders in Maryland and Virginia
Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal jury convicted El Salvadorian nationals Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno, a/k/a “Insolente” and “Trankilo,” age 24, of Landover, Maryland, and Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, a/k/a “Reaper,” age 41, of Long Branch, New Jersey yesterday for conspiring to participate in La Mara Salvatrucha, a transnational criminal enterprise also known as MS-13. Alvarado-Requeno was also convicted of three counts each of murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine. Corea Diaz was also convicted of one count each of 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.
The convictions were announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith; Assistant Director in Charge Steven M. D'Antuono, of the FBI Washington Field Office; Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore Office; Administrator Anne Milgram of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Chief Malik Aziz of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Chief Marcus Jones of the Montgomery County Police Department; and Bedford County (VA) Sheriff Michael W. Miller.
“The brutal and tragic violence perpetrated by these MS-13 members and their fellow gang is totally unacceptable. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland and our local and state partners are working together to remove these violent gang members to keep our communities safe from the threat of MS-13,” said U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron. “We will continue to work to bring to justice these transnational gangs, but we need the continued help of members of our communities in order to carry on our work against MS-13.”
“MS-13 terrorizes communities across the western hemisphere using fear, violence, and intimidation,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “MS-13 exploits undocumented people and those communities that may not have easy access to law enforcement. This prosecution demonstrates the Department of Justice’s commitment to dismantling this criminal organization and protecting all people.”
Acting Nassau County District Attorney Joyce A. Smith said, “This verdict has brought justice to the many victims – named and unnamed, individuals and immigrant communities in the eastern United States – that have been terrorized by MS-13. Miguel Angel Corea Diaz’ reign of terror is over. I am proud of the contribution my office has made to our federal partner’s efforts through our 22-agency partnership and wiretap investigation that revealed Corea Diaz as a regional director of this brutal, transnational gang. We are truly safer today and I thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland and the U.S. Department of Justice for securing a conviction against these dangerous defendants.”
“This investigation is an example of the dedication and hard work of not only the FBI, but also the Northern Virginia Safe Streets/HIDTA task force, and all our partners who work each day to fight the crime and violence that terrorize communities,” said Steven M. D'Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office. “The FBI will continue to take steps to aggressively target and pursue leaders of transnational criminal gangs like MS-13, who have been involved in scores of criminal activity. These criminal acts, such as racketeering, murder, extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering, and witness tampering will not be tolerated, and these two guilty verdicts are clear examples of law enforcement’s resolve to eradicate these violent gangs.”
“This verdict not only deals a crippling blow for MS-13 operating on the east coast, it also represents a victory for the citizens terrorized by MS-13,” said Special Agent in Charge James R. Mancuso of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore. “The partnership of HSI, FBI, DEA, Montgomery County Police, Prince George’s County Police and Bedford County Sheriff’s Office makes for a strong team, and other criminal elements operating in the area should take notice; we will come after them as well.”
“Criminal organizations, drugs, and violence are inextricably linked,” said Administrator Anne Milgram of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “There is no better example than MS-13, which is notorious for its ruthless tactics to further its criminal activities. Today’s convictions will prevent these MS-13 leaders from inflicting brutality on our communities. DEA is committed to the tireless interagency and international efforts to remove the malignant presence of drug trafficking organizations and safeguard the health and well-being of Americans.”
MS-13 is a transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador. Branches or “cliques” of MS-13, one of the largest street gangs in the United States, operate throughout Frederick County, Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County, Maryland.
According to the evidence presented at the four-week trial, between 2015 and 2018, Alvarado-Requeno and Corea Diaz controlled and operated the Sailors Locos Salvatruchos Westside (S.L.S.W. or “Sailors”) Clique through a pattern of racketeering activity, which included murder, extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering, and witness tampering. Evidence showed that the gang ran a protection scheme in and around its home base in Langley Park, Maryland, and extorted local businesses by charging them “rent” for the privilege of operating in MS-13 “territory.” The gang also trafficked in illegal drugs, including marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. A large share of the proceeds of the gang’s illegal activities were sent to gang leadership in El Salvador to further promote the goals of the gang, using structured transactions and intermediaries to avoid law enforcement scrutiny.
The Sailors Clique committed acts of violence against suspected rival gang members, as well as against its own membership for breaking gang rules. In June 2016, Alvarado-Requeno ordered members of the Sailors Clique to murder a suspected rival in the woods at Malcolm King Park in Gaithersburg. Luring him with the promise of sex with a female MS-13 associate, the gang members ambushed the teenaged victim and stabbed him 153 times. In fact, the victim did not belong to any gang.
In March 2017, a member of the Sailors Clique who was hiding from law enforcement in the Lynchburg, Virginia area had a dispute with a local high school student over marijuana. In response, Alvarado-Requeno and Corea-Diaz organized a squad of MS-13 members to drive down to Lynchburg and murder the high schooler. The gang members kidnapped the student from his front lawn and cut his hand off before killing him. After the murder, the Alvarado-Requeno and Corea Diaz helped to hide and protect the killers who escaped the scene from law enforcement.
Among the most important rules of MS-13 is the prohibition against talking to law enforcement, embodied by the maxim ver, oir, y callar – see, hear, and say nothing. The gang enforced this rule by placing a “green light” – an order to kill – on any member of MS-13 who was thought to be informing on the gang. In December 2016, Alvarado-Requeno directed and participated in the murder of a 14-year-old member of MS-13 who was suspected of talking to the police. The boy’s remains were discovered eighteen months later in the woods outside of Germantown, Maryland.
The jury made special findings beyond a reasonable doubt that as part of the racketeering conspiracy Alvarado-Requeno murdered two other individuals and as part of the racketeering conspiracy Correa Diaz conspired to murder a third person.
Alvarado-Requeno and Corea-Diaz each face mandatory sentences of life imprisonment. U.S. District Judge Paula Xinis has not yet scheduled sentencing.
Anyone with information about MS-13 is encouraged to provide their tips to law enforcement. The FBI and Homeland Security Investigations both have nationwide tiplines that you can call to report what you know. You can reach the FBI at 1-866-STP-MS13 (1-866-787-6713), or you can call HSI at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE.
This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite commended the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI, HSI, the DEA Washington and Buffalo Field Divisions, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department, and the Bedford County Sherriff’s Office for their work in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Barron and Mr. Polite thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Hagan, and Trial Attorneys Julie Finocchiaro and Alexander Gottfried of the Justice Department’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, who are prosecuting the case.
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