SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Joplin man pleaded guilty in federal court Jan. 24 to receiving and distributing child pornography after Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and a law enforcement partner.
Dakotah James Gilmore, 32, pleaded guilty before Chief United States Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.
Gilmore admitted to viewing and distributing child pornography using the Kik social media application on his iPhone. An officer with the Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force obtained four cyber tips from Kik and one from Dropbox, a cloud storage service, when Gilmore uploaded images of child pornography.
On January 21, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Gilmore’s residence. Gilmore admitted to using several Kik accounts to view and distribute child pornography for at least two years. He told investigators that after Kik shut down his accounts for violating its terms of service, he set up new accounts with disposable Gmail addresses. He also said he was a member of at least 50 child pornography groups on Kik. Most of these groups require individuals to distribute child pornography before they are allowed to join the group.
A preliminary examination of Gilmore’s cell phone revealed that he sent texts to another person who was suspected of child pornography. The child pornography showed suspected sexual abuse of pre-made children, no older than five years old.
Gilmore will be required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison and will be subject to federal and state sex offender registration requirements, which could be in effect for life.
Under federal statutes, Gilmore is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and could spend up to 20 years in federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system. The statutory maximum sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the court will determine the defendant’s sentence based on advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. The court will schedule Gilmore’s sentencing hearing after the United States Probation Office completes a presentence investigation.
Assistant US Attorney Stephanie L. Wan is prosecuting this case. Homeland Security Investigations; Sheriff’s Department of Barry County, Missouri; the Jasper County, Missouri Sheriff’s Department; and an investigation by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a national initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Child Abuse Section, Project Safe Childhood mobilizes federal, state and local resources to locate, arrest and prosecute, and identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the “resources” tab.
HSI is the primary investigative arm of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, particularly those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel and finance move. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees consists of more than 6,000 special agents assigned to 237 cities across the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in US law enforcement.
Learn more about HSI’s mission to combat child exploitation in our community on Twitter @HSIKansasCity.