DA: MS-13's 'Reaper' ordered murders, beatings

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Federal agents have brought the accused East Coast ringleader of the vicious MS-13 gang to New York from Maryland to face murder conspiracy and drug-trafficking charges.

Miguel Angel Corea Diaz, better known to his associates as "Reaper," faces conspiracy to commit murder and drug trafficking charges.

"The grand jury indictment alleges that Reaper ordered murders and beatings and directed the gang's drug operations in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas and elsewhere," Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said.

Diaz pleaded not guilty. He allegedly ran the gang's Sailor clique. He served as the middleman between MS-13 higher-ups in El Salvador and dozens of local members, authorities said.

"He was ordering hits, he was describing to other members how it is they ask permission to commit a murder," Singas said. "He was getting down to the details of how deep to dig a hole where they would dispose of a body."

The 35-year-old is one of 17 defendants cited in an indictment from earlier this year. He was being held in Maryland on an unrelated drug charge. The arrest will have a significant impact on the gang's daily operations, officials said.

"Today not only can we put a name and face to the regional leader of all MS-13 operations in the Northeast but we can also directly link MS-13's operations from Nassau County to streets of El Salvador," DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt said.

Diaz was previously deported and is in the United States illegally.

A judge ordered him held without bail. Diaz is due back in court on May 10.  If convicted, he would face 25 years to life in prison.