Please E-mail suggested additions, comments and/or corrections to Kent@MoreLaw.Com.

Help support the publication of case reports on MoreLaw

Date: 10-13-2021

Case Style:

United States of America v. Mark Daniel Benavidez

Case Number: 5:19-CR-00337-BR

Judge: W. Earl Britt

Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina (Wake County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office

Defendant's Attorney:

Best Raleigh Criminal Defense Lawyer Directory

Description: Raleigh, NC: Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with transporting a victim across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Benavidez, 40, was arrested in connection with an undercover prostitution sting at a hotel in Cary, North Carolina on July 21, 2017. Benavidez had rented two rooms at the hotel and was posting online prostitution ads for three different women. Benavidez had over $4,600 on his person at the time of arrest and drugs were found on one of the victims and in a bag in one of the rooms.

Investigation revealed that Benavidez began prostituting one of the victims in 2016 in New Jersey. While still in New Jersey, Benavidez recruited a second woman. Benavidez prostituted both women in New Jersey before traveling to North Carolina in early July 2017. Once in North Carolina, Benavidez recruited his third victim. Benavidez was physically violent with one of the victims, reportedly abusing her on a weekly basis. Benavidez exploited the drug addictions of the other two victims, becoming their sole supplier, worsening their addictions, and using the promise of drugs, especially heroin, to keep them prostituting for him. Benavidez controlled all aspects of their prostitution and took all the money the victims earned. The investigation also led to storage units that Benavidez rented in North Carolina and New Jersey, where investigators seized over $13,500 and $21,000, respectively.

“It is difficult to calculate the scope of damage caused by sexual exploitation and trafficking, which often leave victims with long-lasting trauma. Benavidez used fear, coercion, and violence to exploit and abuse his victims,” said Special Agent in Charge Ronnie Martinez, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in North Carolina and South Carolina. “HSI special agents, along with our law enforcement partners, are committed to pursuing those who perpetuate these horrendous crimes.”

G. Norman Acker, III, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge W. Earl Britt. The Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”) and the Cary Police Department investigated the case, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Blondel and Assistant United States Attorney Bryan Stephany prosecuted the case.

Distribute a Quantity of Heroin
Distribution of a quantity of heroin
Interstate Travel for Prostitution by Coercion and Enticement
Interstate travel for prostitution by coercion and enticement
Interstate Transportation for Prostitution (Mann Act)
Interstate transportation for prostitution
Interstate travel for prostitution by coercion and enticement
Use of the Internet to Promote an Unlawful Business Enterprise, Namely, Prostitution (ITAR); and Aiding and Abetting
Interstate transportation for prostitution
Use of the internet to promote an unlawful business enterprise, namely, prostitution (ITAR) and aiding and abetting

Outcome: 10/08/2021 Motion Submitted to Senior Judge W. Earl Britt as to Mark Daniel Benavidez: 68 MOTION to Seal 67 PROPOSED SEALED Document. (Herrmann, L.) (Entered: 10/08/2021)
10/08/2021 TEXT ORDER granting 68 Motion to Seal as to Mark Daniel Benavidez (1). Signed by Senior Judge W. Earl Britt on 10/8/2021. (CHAM, ACP) (Entered: 10/08/2021)
10/08/2021 69 NOTICE OF ATTORNEY APPEARANCE John E. Harris appearing for USA. (Harris, John) (Entered: 10/08/2021)
10/08/2021 70 MOTION for Forfeiture of Property filed by USA as to Mark Daniel Benavidez. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order) (Harris, John) (Entered: 10/08/2021)
10/08/2021 71 AMENDED PRESENTENCE INVESTIGATION REPORT (Sealed) as to Mark Daniel Benavidez. (Attachments: # 1 Supplement Revised PSR Memo) (Simonson, R.) (Entered: 10/08/2021)

Defendant was sentenced to 10 years' in prison.

Plaintiff's Experts:

Defendant's Experts:


Find a Lawyer


Find a Case