A Maryland man was sentenced today to life in prison for his conduct in connection with La Mara Salvatrucha, a transnational criminal enterprise, also known as MS-13.
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 court documents, Junior Noe Alvarado-Requeno aka Insolente, aka Trankilo, 24, of Landover, Maryland, was convicted on multiple racketeering-related offenses on Nov. 23, 2021 after a four-week trial. Alvarado-Requeno was convicted of three counts each of murder in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and cocaine.
According to the evidence presented at the four-week trial, between 2015 and 2018, Alvarado-Requeno and his co-defendant, Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, aka Reaper, 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 illegal activity, which included murder, extortion, drug trafficking, money laundering, and witness tampering. Corea Diaz was sentenced to life in prison on April 1, 2022.
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” and trafficked in illegal drugs. 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. Evidence presented at trial 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. 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. In response, Alvarado-Requeno and Corea Diaz organized a squad of MS-13 members to drive down to Lynchburg and murder the minor. 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.
According to evidence presented at trial, 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 victim’s remains were discovered 18 months later in the woods outside of Germantown, Maryland.
The case was investigated by the FBI, HSI, the DEA’s Washington and Buffalo Field Divisions, the Prince George’s County Police Department, the Montgomery County Police Department and the Bedford County Sherriff’s Office. The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office provided valuable assistance.
The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Julie Finocchiaro and Alexander Gottfried of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy Hagan and William Moomau for the District of Maryland.
Anyone with information about MS-13 is encouraged to provide their tips to law enforcement. The FBI and Homeland Security Investigations both have nationwide tip lines 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.
In-Article Image CreditsAn MS-13 suspect bearing gang tattoos is handcuffed. via Wikimedia Commons by FBI with usage type - Public Domain
Featured Image CreditAn MS-13 suspect bearing gang tattoos is handcuffed. via Wikimedia Commons by FBI with usage type - Public Domain