An MS-13 leader known for his brutality was sentenced to life in prison

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MS-13 is how the branch of the Mara Salvatrucha is known in the United States.

Photo: File/MARLON GOMEZ / AFP / Getty Images

A leader of the La Mara Salvatrucha MS-13 gang whose brutality a federal prosecutor described as “almost unfathomable” has been sentenced to life in prison. for conspiracy to commit murder in aid of organized crime and other charges.

Miguel Ángel Corea Díaz, 41, also known as “Reaper”was once the highest-ranking member of MS-13 on the East Coast, the US Justice Department said in a statement Friday.

The life sentence was imposed after Corea Diaz, of Long Branch, New Jersey, was convicted by a federal jury in November for conspiracy to commit racketeering-assisted murder, racketeering-assisted murder, drug trafficking conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, according to federal prosecutors.

In the defendant’s sentencing memorandum, Corea Diaz’s attorney, Steve Mercer, had requested a “sentence that provides a realistic opportunity for release.” Mercer urged the judge to sentence Corea Díaz to no more than 21 years and two months, according to CNN.

Court documents say Corea Diaz “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” since 2010. until October 2017.

“The brutality of Corea Díaz is almost unfathomable”, said Maryland US Attorney Erek L. Barron, in the Justice Department statement.

Corea Díaz and another gang member awaiting sentencing controlled and operated Sailors Locos Salvatruchos Westside Clique, which ran a “protection” scheme around his base in Langley Park, Maryland, and extorted local businesses for operating in MS-13 “territory,” according to the statement.

The gang also trafficked heroin, cocaine and other drugs, with a large portion of the proceeds being sent to its leaders in El Salvador, according to federal prosecutors.

MS-13, which prosecutors describe as one of the largest criminal organizations in the United States, is a “transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants of El Salvador,” the statement said.

Salvadoran immigrants fleeing the country’s civil war started MS-13 decades ago in Los Angeles. Its membership includes immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and other Central and South American countries, according to an FBI Threat Assessment of the gang.

MS-13 operates in at least 42 states and the District of Columbia and has between 6,000 and 10,000 members nationwide.

Over the years, members of MS-13 have been convicted of a number of crimes across the country, ranging from racketeering to murder.

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