CHEROKEE COUNTY, NC - In January 2020, a complaint was filed against Benito Morales Mendez, 39, alleging that he had sexually assaulted a young girl.
Evidence of the sexual abuse was found on several electronic devices belonging to Mendez, according to Cherokee County Sheriff Derrick Palmer.
Palmer says when detectives tried to arrest Mendez, they learned he had fled North Carolina. Detectives also learned Mendez was not a legal U.S. citizen.
Investigators reached out to the United States Marshal Service Fugitive Apprehension Task Force, and the Department of Homeland Security Investigations who Palmer says helped in locating Mendez several months later in Texas where he had fled.
The illegal alien was eventually brought back to North Carolina to face charges.
Mendez has been charged with statutory rape of a child by adult and violation of a domestic violence protection order. He is currently being held on an ICE detainer.
The suspect's next court appearance is scheduled for October 1st.