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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Friday, August 19, 2016

Buchanan County Deputy Honored for Drug-Trafficking Investigation; ICE Agent Honored for Phillipines Child Porn Investigation

Guardian of Justice Award

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Buchanan County Sheriff’s Deputy and an agent for Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have received the Guardian of Justice Award.


Deputy J.D. Roberts and Agent James D. Holdman were honored on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, during the 14th Annual LECC Training Seminar in Springfield, Mo.


J.D. Roberts


            Roberts is a Buchanan County Drug Strike Force investigator and is assigned to the Drug Enforcement Administration as a task force officer. Roberts began a drug-trafficking investigation in 2010 that, over the course of five years, culminated in 151 defendants charged in nine separate federal indictments. To date, there have been three jury trial convictions and dozens of guilty pleas. Additionally, there are still active spin-off investigations and indictments expected this year.


            Defendants were charged with participating in conspiracies to distribute methamphetamine, heroin, or other controlled substances and money laundering. Many were charged with various firearm offenses. Money judgments into the millions have been obtained and more will be obtained when the related cases are resolved. These investigations successfully dismantled at least three intertwined multi-jurisdictional drug-trafficking organizations, with three others at least disrupted via the pending charges.


            The geographic scope of this investigation initially was limited to the Buchanan County area; however, Roberts worked with DEA partners and the federal Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force to expand into a large area of northwest Missouri, parts of southern Iowa and Nebraska, the Kansas City metropolitan area and Kansas. Roberts also partnered with Midwest HIDTA, the FBI, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and police departments in Kansas City, Mo., Independence, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan.


James D. Holdman


            Holdman located a Craigslist advertisement for photography services in the Philippines in July 2012, and his suspicion that the advertiser was involved in producing child pornography launched an investigation into Kenneth Gaylord Stokes, a U.S. citizen and prior sex offender who resided in the Philippines. As a result of the investigation, Stokes pleaded guilty to a federal indictment that charged him with sexually abusing five separate child victims and was sentenced to 120 years in federal prison without parole.


            Holdman exchanged e-mails with Stokes and traveled to the Philippines to meet in person at Stokes’ gated compound. Stokes told Holdman that he would help facilitate sexual liaisons with both his own wife and Filipino children. Stokes also expressed his desire for Holdman to impregnate his wife in hopes that he would later be able to use the child for sexual purposes. Stokes explained that his wife would not consent to having sex with Holdman and encouraged him to rape her.


Stokes bragged that he had taken thousands of images depicting child pornography, and indicated that people in other countries paid him to produce made-to-order child pornography. Stokes showed Holdman multiple images of child pornography on his laptop computer.


Holdman left the house and returned with local law enforcement officers to arrest Stokes, who was deported to the United States. Investigators seized Stokes’s computers and conducted a forensic examination. Investigators found thousands of pictures and video recordings depicting child pornography on Stokes’s computers, as well as a script for a movie depicting the sexual and physical abuse of a child.


Guardian of Justice Award


The annual Guardian of Justice Award recognizes a state or local officer as well as a federal agent for investigative excellence, selfless collaboration, tireless trial support, commendable diligence and professionalism, and noteworthy assistance to prosecution. The prestigious law enforcement award is presented by the U.S. Attorney’s Office each year during the law enforcement training conference.

Office and Personnel Updates
Updated August 19, 2016