LEXINGTON, KY - Two AUSAs in the Eastern District of Kentucky received awards for their work in a groundbreaking human trafficking case.
Kentucky’s Rescue and Restore Coalition (KRRC) presented Hydee R. Hawkins and David A. Marye with the 2012 Liberation Award. KRRC gives the award annually to volunteers, agencies and community advocates who have made a significant impact in the effort against human trafficking in Kentucky. The AUSAs were honored during this year’s Ending Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Conference in Lexington, Ky.
Both AUSAs have also trained local, state and federal law enforcement officials on the Federal human trafficking statutes.
Earlier this year Hawkins and Marye prosecuted Marco Antonio Flores-Benitez, who became the first person ever convicted of sex trafficking charges in Kentucky. A federal judge sentenced him to 180 months in prison in July.
Flores-Benitez and a co-defendant operated a prostitution delivery service for customers in the Lexington and Louisville areas. They also operated a brothel at Cross Keys drive in Lexington that was managed by another co-defendant.
As part of the conspiracy, some defendants recruited Spanish-speaking women from North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Maryland to travel to Kentucky to engage in prostitution under the direction of Flores-Benitez.
Three other co-defendants pleaded guilty and have been sentenced in the case.