Basketball Coach Accused Of Trafficking Student For Fundraising Purposes
Police say Berry recruited 16-year-old Cesar Landin from his home in Mexico to play for a select basketball team he ran in Texas.
Instead, the teen told police he was forced to sell gourmet popcorn for the coach at storefronts across the state.
In police records obtained by News 8, Landin told detectives that when he refused to sell the popcorn, the coach threatened to harm him — and on one occasion, physically assaulted him.
Records say that Berry worked out a deal with Landin’s parents to bring him to Texas. He agreed to pay the teenager $300 a month and provided a place to stay at his apartment.
But Landin’s teammates at Lewisville High said the teen complained about how he was being treated.
“He let us know he was mad, and told one of our teammates he was crying and upset about it… he was really mad about it,” said LHS senior Ray Dorsey.
Students said Landin complained about not being able to do homework or study because he was forced to sell popcorn,, and he shared with them alleged threats he received from Berry on his cell phone.
“He was cussing at him telling him that Cesar was doing wrong for not selling popcorn,” said teammate Deleon McKee.
Theodore Berry has since moved out of the apartment the two were living in, and could not be reached for comment.
Since the coach’s arrest, Landin has moved back to Mexico to live with his family.