Four people were arrested earlier this week for the alleged sex trafficking of a child.
According to the Dallas Police Department (DPD), the arrests resulted from a collaboration between the department’s special investigations division and the North Texas Trafficking Task Force, a joint task force comprising federal, state, and local law enforcement.
Gershon Caston, 38, Lamorris Hudspeth, 47, Amber Gords, 30, and Adarius Staples, 33, were arrested for a number of trafficking-related crimes that took place in June and July, DPD stated.
The suspects were allegedly linked to an 11-year-old girl who went missing in southern Dallas last week. However, it is currently unclear whether the charges are related, CBS News Texas reported.
Caston is being charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, trafficking of a child, and compelling prostitution under 18, totaling a bond worth $450,000, according to NBC 5 DFW.
As of Thursday, Caston was employed by Red Oaks ISD as a teacher and coach, but a district spokesperson claimed he was only just hired in May and has only assisted in a few strength and conditioning programs, per ABC 8 WFAA.
A letter sent to parents by Red Oaks ISD said that it “has not received any record of reports related to any Red Oak ISD students involving this allegation,” according to WFAA. Since the arrest, Caston has been placed on leave.
Caston had previously worked at three other North Texas school districts in the last decade, including Duncanville ISD, Irving ISD, and DeSoto ISD, according to CBS News Texas.
Hudspeth is being charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. Authorities charged Gords with compelling prostitution under 18 and trafficking of a child. She was also charged with drug possession, unlawful carrying of a weapon, and prostitution. Staples was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child, trafficking of a child, and compelling prostitution under 18.
Crime in Dallas spiked in 2023, with 55 kidnappings reported in the first four months, marking a 25% increase over the previous year. More recent statistics are not readily available, allegedly due to a purported ransomware attack against City servers over two months ago.
Nearby cities like Fort Worth have implemented dedicated crime units in certain areas. As a result, Fort Worth has reportedly been experiencing much lower crime rates in its downtown area compared to Downtown Dallas.
DPD is currently suffering a significant shortage of manpower, as the City currently only employs about 3,100 officers, far below the 4,000 needed to sufficiently manage crime in Dallas, per a City analysis.