Two MS-13 gang leaders were convicted by a federal jury in Maryland on earlier this week for racketeering conspiracy and conspiring to commit multiple murders, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.
Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno, 25, was convicted of three counts each of murder in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine.
Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, 39, was 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 two El Salvadoran nationals face mandatory sentences of life imprisonment.
“The brutal and tragic violence perpetrated by these MS-13 members and their fellow gang is totally unacceptable,” U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron for the District of Maryland said in a news release. “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.”
Both men were considered to be leaders of the gang, with Corea Diaz — also known as “Reaper” — leading the entire East Coast and Alvarado-Requeno — known as “Insolente” or “Trankilo” — the leader in Maryland.
According to prosecutors, evidence was laid out over the course of a four-week trial that demonstrated the men controlled and operated the “Sailors” between 2015 and 2018 and committed multiple crimes including murder, extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering and witness tampering.
The gang operated out of Langley Park in Prince George’s County and extorted local businesses by charging them “rent” for the privilege of operating in MS-13 “territory,” prosecutors said. The gang also trafficked in drugs, including marijuana, heroin and cocaine. A large share of the proceeds were sent to gang leadership in El Salvador, prosecutors said, so the gang could continue to commit other crimes.
Prosecutors said that in June 2016, Alvarado-Requeno ordered members of the gang to murder a suspected rival in the woods at Malcolm King Park in Gaithersburg. The rival was lured there with the promise of sex with a female MS-13 associate and then the gang members ambushed the teenager, stabbing him 153 times. The victim did not belong to any gang.
About a year later, prosecutors said a member of the Sailors was hiding from law enforcement in Lynchburg, Virginia, when there was a dispute with a local high school student over marijuana.
Alvarado-Requeno and Corea-Diaz then ordered a group of MS-13 members to drive down and murder the high school student. He was then kidnapped from his front lawn and his hand cut off before being killed. The two then helped to hide and protect the killers from law enforcement, prosecutors said.
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 18 months later in the woods outside of Germantown, prosecutors said.