Lewisville Basketball Coach Calls Cops to His Apartment, Winds Up Accused of Trafficking

Categories: Crime

Lewisville Farmers.jpg
A Fighting Farmers basketball coach is accused to farming for talent in Mexico, and then fighting the talent.
Today's lesson, boys and girls, courtesy of WFAA's Craig Civale and the Lewisville police: When you appear to be running a racket that involves importing a high school basketball player from Mexico only to force him to sell gourmet popcorn at suburban big box stores, it's probably a bad idea to invite the cops to the shitty apartment where you're keeping the kid.

It's a lesson that Theodore Berry, an assistant basketball coach at Lewisville High School, never learned, according to Lewisville police, who are accusing the coach of human trafficking. A grand jury has not yet charged Berry, authorities say, and he has since been released on bond.

The boy's story, according to the Lewisville detective who signed the affidavit you'll find below, goes like this:

In 2008, Berry traveled to Mexico and met a young player named Cesar Landin. He told Landin and his parents that he coached "select" youth basketball teams, and that for $300 a month the boy could stay with Berry and play on one of his teams. The parents agreed, and over time paid Berry $2,000, but with one condition: Their son would not, under any circumstances, sell popcorn for Berry's nonprofit popcorn-selling operation.

OK, so: If I'm renting my kid to a stranger for less than it costs to lease an Acura, I'd probably want the stranger to stipulate to more than just the Popcorn Clause. But alas, this was the agreement. And the parents told police that Berry didn't live up to it. Did a lot worse too.

Landin, now 16, arrived in North Texas in August, police say. The boy moved into a Lewisville apartment with the coach -- a TV-less, Internet-less place that by the end of this story would be covered in gourmet popcorn. He also enrolled in Lewisville High School, where Berry is a teacher. (He's now on leave, according to WFAA.)

By the end of August, over the boy's protests, the coach was driving him to a Sam's Club in Richardson and telling him to sell popcorn. When Landin balked, the coach threatened to "kick his ass," the boy told police. Afraid of getting his ass kicked, he dutifully sold the popcorn.

The threats and the popcorn-selling continued into September, around Lewisville and as far away as a Walmart in Alamo. All the while, Landin told police, he played no basketball with any select team, and couldn't even find time amidst all the popcorn-selling to do his homework. When the boy called his mom for help, the coach cursed her out too.

After a blow-up at a 7-Eleven, Landin called Lewisville head coach Gary Collier, who picked him up and -- according to Landin -- drove him back to the apartment, furnished him with a small TV and some DVDs to watch and left him there. Alone. (I have a message in for Collier). Berry left the apartment, and the next day Landin's parents arrived from Mexico to pick him up. Before he left the apartment, he dumped popcorn everywhere.

This, apparently, was very upsetting to Berry, who, upon returning home to find his apartment covered in popcorn, called the Lewisville police to report the boy. They arrived around the same time that Landin and his parents arrived at the Lewisville police station. Berry was arrested soon after. Landin is back in Mexico with his family, police say.

Berry - PC Trafficking of Persons

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29 comments
mynameisURL
mynameisURL

Huh. I was unaware that trafficking in pre-puffed grain products was such a serious offense in Lewisville. Who knew.

This guy must have giant popcorn balls.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

I see nothing wrong with the kid working,nor doing with out TV.

Kalu Ude
Kalu Ude

Home of the Fighting Farmers...

gametruthordare
gametruthordare

There was a similar incident a few years ago when the owner of Arnold Drive-In promised an Italian guy who would make him a karate champion and wind force the child into the arena of the court of its cover in place.Games for Adults

???
???

Guysss he wass muhh teacher.! I was in his class.! First of he sucked ass at teaching. And yeah . But he was actually badass. You know exept the whole steal a mexican thing.

smijca
smijca

Sometimes I really, really hate people.

Ándale
Ándale

I'm sorry, but head coach Gary Collier took the kid BACK to the apartment?   Are you serious? Seems like at least one more employment termination should be made, and possibly another arrest. 

Norma Jean Almodovar
Norma Jean Almodovar

This is a horrible situation- the trauma that kid must have suffered! The only solution is for someone to start a campaign to "end the demand" for gourmet popcorn so that no other unfortunate youth is ever again put into such a dilemma! The only thing that could have been worse is if the coach had threatened to force the boy to 'cook and clean' against his will- such as happened to a victim of human trafficking in Austin. The smuggler actually threatened the 15 year old trafficking victim's parents that their kid was going to be forced to 'cook and clean' if they didn't come up with more money to get their kid out of hock. We must end the demand for cooking and cleaning so that this, too, will no longer be a destination for victims of trafficking.

scottindallas
scottindallas

no kidding, that's women's work after all.  It kinda sucks for women that now they have all the jobs and the duties of picking up the house.  Woman's lib, you gotta love it.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Increasingly, public schools are becoming the DMV of education.

Gabe
Gabe

In prison, he'll be the popcorn. Now somebody work that into an ass joke, I'm tired. 

Montemalone
Montemalone

Well, corn has been known to pop out of one.

Metroplexual
Metroplexual

I think we should give him  $15,000 to tell his story to the city council and throw in a couple of donkeys to take back to Mexico

Sturms_Bloody_Rectum
Sturms_Bloody_Rectum

wtf, seriously? Please do a follow up article on this unpopped kernel of a coach. Find out how he came to choose popcorn sales as a gig.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

I guess he didn't like his other gig. Well, looks like there's an opening to selling popcorn, I'd say start doing it at $3 a bag. Obviously, good help is hard to find.

TheRealDirtyP1
TheRealDirtyP1

Man, this coach was really passionate about his popcorn. If he would have channeled that into teaching and coaching, I'd send my kids to him.

scottindallas
scottindallas

That's the craziest story I've heard in a long time

JROCK
JROCK

"They Played Their Hearts Out"..........True Book......Read It........Happens all the time.........what the hell are parents thinking.........Remember Flower Mound Marcus???...PARENTS WAKE UP!.

Holy_Sheets
Holy_Sheets

Gourmet popcorn only $2 a bag?Must be a non for popit.

Jason
Jason

This is a story from The Onion, right?  I had an easier time maneuvering the twists and turns of R. Kelly's "Trapped In The Closet" opus.  

More stories like this, please.

D
D

 Sadly, this is true. I live in Lewisville and I thought this was just some crazy rumor until I saw it on the news tonight.

EverBlurry ScottMurray
EverBlurry ScottMurray

There was a similar incident some years ago when the owner of Arnold's drive-in promised some Italian kid that he would make him a karate champion and wound up forcing the kid to sand his backyard deck instead.

Montemalone
Montemalone

I hope it wasn't the cheese flavor, that color sticks to everything.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

First, I hope they throw the book at that scumbag Berry.

Second, is the name in question "Landis" or "Landin"?

BobbyT
BobbyT

Can we send this story straight to the Coen brothers?

Gabe
Gabe

I was thinking Chuck Palahniuk, who will be at the DMA on Tuesday night.

Justin Julian
Justin Julian

::facepalm::  So...anyone know a good basketball coaching staff?  I guess we're gonna need one up here in Lewisville...

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