ICE HSI Baltimore-led investigation nets MS-13 gang leader a life sentence in federal prison for racketeering, conspiracy and conspiring to commit multiple murders
BALTIMORE – An investigation led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Baltimore field office resulted in a life sentence for an El Salvadorian citizen and notorious gang leader. Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno, a/k/a “Insolente” and “Trankilo,” age 24, of Landover, Maryland was sentenced to life in federal prison, on April 25, for conspiring to participate in La Mara Salvatrucha, a transnational criminal enterprise also known as MS-13, and for three counts each of murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, as well as for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine.
According to the investigation, between 2015 and 2018, Alvarado-Requeno and his co-defendant, Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, a/k/a “Reaper,” age 41, of Long Branch, New Jersey, 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.
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.
The investigation into Alvarado-Requeno and Corea Diaz, was led by the HSI Baltimore field office with assistance from the Department of Justice Criminal Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigations Washington, D.C. field office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies in Maryland and Virginia.
The Sailors Clique committed acts of violence against suspected rival gang members, as well as against its own membership for breaking gang rules. The evidence showed that 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.
“Alvarado-Requeno’s sentencing should serve as a warning to anyone thinking about joining such criminal enterprises,” Smith said. “Alvarado-Requeno will live the rest of his life inside of a federal prison cell. HSI Baltimore will continue to pursue criminals like him who prey on the citizens of Maryland.”
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 HSI investigation showed that as part of the racketeering conspiracy Alvarado-Requeno murdered two other individuals and as part of the racketeering conspiracy Corea Diaz conspired to murder a third person.
Corea Diaz also received a life sentence in federal prison on April 1. He was convicted of the racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine, and heroin; and possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Anyone with information about MS-13 is encouraged to provide their tips to law enforcement. Homeland Security Investigations has a nationwide tipline that anyone can call to report MS-13 activity. HSI can be reached 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.