A life sentence was imposed after Corea Diaz of Long Branch, NJ, was convicted by federal juries in November of conspiracy to commit murder for extortion, murder to extort, conspiracy related to drug trafficking and possession with intent under federal prosecutors distribute controlled substances.
CNN sought comments from Core Diaz’s attorney Steve Mercer.
In the memorandum of conviction of the accused, Mercer demanded “a sentence which provides for a real possibility of release”. Mercer called on the judge to sentence Corea Diaz to no more than 21 years and two months.
Court documents state that Corea Diaz “did a great job with MS-13 members and associates to engage in a pattern of racketeering, including murder, extortion, money laundering, witness manipulation and distribution of controlled substances” from 2010 to October 2017.
Corea Diaz and another gang member waiting for sentence controlled and led the Sailors Locos Salvatruchos Westside Clique group, which ran a “security” program around its base in Langley Park, Maryland, and extorted local businesses to operate in MS-13 “territory”. He said.
According to federal prosecutors, the gang was also involved in trafficking in heroin, cocaine and other drugs, with much of the proceeds channeled to leadership in El Salvador.
MS-13, which prosecutors describe as one of the largest criminal organizations in the US, is “a transnational gang composed primarily of immigrants or descendants from El Salvador,” the statement said.
Over the years, members of MS-13 have been convicted of a range of crimes across the country, ranging from racketeering to murder.
Ray Sanchez of CNN contributed to this report.