HOUSTON — A Houston-area elementary school music teacher was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of producing child pornography, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, Southern District of Texas.
This case was investigated by the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Houston Metro Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, with the assistance of the Spring Independent School District (ISD) Police Department.
Derrick Gossett, 32, of Humble, Texas, and a music teacher at Anderson Elementary School in the Spring ISD, was taken into custody Sept. 6 on charges of producing child pornography. During his initial appearance Sept. 9, U.S. Magistrate Judge George Hanks ordered him into custody pending further criminal proceedings. He is set for a counsel determination hearing Sept. 11 before Hanks.
According to the criminal complaint filed Sept. 6, Gossett allegedly used a Facebook profile to solicit sexually explicit photographs from boys, which constituted child pornography. The complaint further alleges he used the images he received from at least one victim to extort additional images from him.
Authorities executed a search warrant at Gossett's residence and seized the following items: a laptop computer, several thumb drives, cell phones and digital cameras. One external portable hard drive, found in a lock box inside Gosset's residence, was forensically analyzed and is alleged to contain more than 150 files with images depicting different boys ranging in age from 12 to 17 years old, and in various stages of undress.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.