The identity of the man accused of leading the East Coast operations of MS-13, carrying out major drug trafficking and conspiring on Long Island to commit murder, has surfaced in court and jail records as an El Salvadoran citizen being held in a Maryland jail.
Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, 35, was one of 17 defendants cited in a 21-count Nassau County indictment that prompted authorities to do a local gang sweep Jan. 11.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said at the time the takedown included “the alleged kingpin of MS-13 for the entire Eastern region of the United States.” She did not name the individual, however, saying she couldn’t identify some of those in custody because they were awaiting extradition to Nassau County.
The district attorney’s office still hasn’t publicly identified the alleged kingpin. But an unredacted version of the Nassau indictment that Newsday recently obtained names Corea Diaz as the accused MS-13 “regional director for the East Coast,” who also headed up the gang’s so-called Sailors clique, or subgroup.
On the day of the initial arraignments, the district attorney’s office confirmed that the person referred to in the indictment as the regional director for the East Coast was the same person authorities referred to at a news conference as the man who leads MS-13 operations in the eastern United States.
Singas has said that the alleged kingpin ordered beatings and murders and directed the gang’s drug operations in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas and elsewhere.
Maryland jail records show Corea Diaz is being held in Prince George’s County Detention Center on local felony drug charges and has a Nassau County arrest warrant pending against him.
Yolonda Smedley, a spokeswoman for Prince George’s County Department of Corrections, recently confirmed that Corea Diaz has a warrant from Nassau County and also is being held on the local charges in lieu of $125,000 bail.
A spokesman for Singas has declined to comment or say when local prosecutors expect the alleged kingpin’s Nassau court appearance. Corea Diaz’s assistant public defender in Maryland also has declined to comment.
The Jan. 8 indictment by a Nassau County grand jury charges Corea Diaz, who uses the street name “Reaper,” with five charges of second-degree conspiracy, including conspiracies planned in Nassau County and elsewhere to commit murder.
It also accuses him of conspiracies to sell and possess heroin, three counts of operating as a major drug trafficker — including in Nassau County — and alleges Corea Diaz reported to the criminal syndicate’s leaders in El Salvador.
The indictment also alleges Corea Diaz helped broker heroin deals with Mexican organized crime and obtained multiple pounds of cocaine and marijuana that MS-13 redistributed.
Maryland records identify the inmate as Carea-Diaz, with Corea Diaz and “Reaper” listed among his other known identities. The records also say he is a resident of Long Branch, New Jersey, is married, stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 340 pounds.