IRVING — Arrests in human trafficking cases are rare, and to charge a teenager with the crime is even more unusual.
"It's very disturbing any time a situation like this occurs, but a 17-year-old suspect is a little more disturbing," said Irving police spokesman Ofc. John Argumaniz.
Officers arrested Travis Lekas, 17, near his home on Monday. He faces three felony charges, including human trafficking; compelling prostitution; and sexual performance by a child.
Investigators said Lekas drugged a 15-year-old classmate two weeks ago with Alprazolam, marijuana and alcoholic beverages, and wouldn't let her leave for three days.
In that period, according to the affidavit against him, Lekas let men have sex with the girl "in exchange for U.S. currency and narcotics."
Now police want to know whether he advertised her — and to whom.
"We want to find out how these men were made aware of her being at his residence and come to his home, so there are things we're still trying to backtrack and find out how that happened," Ofc. Argumaniz added.
But investigators discovered this might not be an isolated incident.
"Our investigators have received information that he attempted to recruit other young girls into prostitution or committing prostitution acts," Argumaniz said.
Irving police accuse Lekas of trying to recruit other girls from Nimitz High School and even younger ones at Bowie Middle School.
The suspect's grandmother told News 8 his accuser is lying. She was always visiting their home, Lekas' grandmother said, and would not leave her grandson alone.
Police haven't ruled out making other arrests or filing additional charges against the teenage suspect, who is jailed on $175,000 bond.
Investigators are looking for the men who paid to have sex with the girl, and are trying to determine whether there are other victims.
Irving Independent School District said it is cooperating fully with an active police investigation.
"We are treating this matter very seriously," Superintendent Dana T. Bedden said in a written statement. "It is our responsibility as a school district to enable the Irving Police Department to conduct a thorough investigation, and until they have completed their investigation, we will not be able to share any additional details. We will cooperate fully with the Irving Police Department and will take appropriate disciplinary action with regard to the student in question. We will provide counseling and other support to any student who may be affected by this investigation. We will also keep our parents informed of the situation as more details are presented."