Circumstances of Death
Special Agent Eddie Benitez conducted extensive undercover investigations involving the purchase of illegal firearms, explosives and drugs from various criminals/groups in the greater Miami area. In July 1983, after having made previous undercover buys of firearms and drugs from suspect Eduardo Rouco, SA Benitez attempted to place him under arrest. Rouco resisted and during the ensuing struggle, he shot and killed SA Benitez before back-up agents could come to his assistance. Eduardo Rouco was convicted of Second Degree Murder and sentenced to 30 years to life imprisonment. He later died in prison. Several additional accomplices were also convicted for firearms and drug related crimes as a result of SA Benitez's investigations and received lengthy prison sentences.
SA Benitez joined ATF on July 14, 1980. He carried badge #2249. SA Benitez was a graduate of ATF's Undercover School and a highly valued special agent. In his relatively short career, he was responsible for conducting several significant investigations regarding international firearms smuggling and the trading of guns, especially machineguns, for narcotics. In recognition of his outstanding investigative work, SA Benitez received an award for exceptional service several months prior to his death. Prior to joining ATF, SA Benitez was a Dade County, FL, police officer.
SA Benitez was born in the Canal Zone, Panama. He was single and survived by his parents, Calixta and Fernando Benitez and two sisters. The Benitez family received a letter of condolence from President Ronald Reagan, thanking them for their son's service to his country. SA Benitez was a first cousin of Special Agent in Charge (Washington Field Division) Edgar Domenech.