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Press Release

Joplin Man Charged with Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
FBI Seeks Public’s Assistance with Investigation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Joplin, Mo., man has been charged in federal court with receiving and distributing child pornography.

Reagan Elijah Alexa Garcia, also known as Elijah Hicklin, 22, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield on Thursday, Feb. 29, with one count of receiving and distributing child pornography. Garcia remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing on Tuesday, March 5.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, an FBI task force officer on the FBI’s Child Exploitation Task Force in Washington, D.C., entered a private Kik group known as a place where people meet, discuss, and trade original images and videos of children. On Jan. 13, 2024, a user later identified as Garcia entered the group and engaged the undercover officer in a private chat.

Garcia told the undercover officer that he had pornographic images he produced himself, the affidavit says, including images of a 3-year-old child victim that he sent to the undercover officer. Garcia also sent an image of child pornography to the undercover officer that he claimed was produced by giving the child sleeping pills.

On Feb. 21, 2024, Garcia allegedly sent multiple files of child pornography to the undercover officer. According to the affidavit, a child in one of those images is depicted with various restraint devices. In the text conversation, Garcia told the undercover officer that he had sexually assaulted a female child within the past couple of days.

On Feb. 28, 2024, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Garcia’s residence. When an FBI agent began patting down Garcia, he began actively resisting. Garcia refused to put his hands behind his back and was taken to the ground, with his hands and arms underneath him. He repeatedly refused to obey commands to put his arms behind his back. Multiple law enforcement officers assisted to force Garcia’s hands and arms behind his back and place him in handcuffs. Multiple broken pieces of a microSD card, which Garcia later admitted to destroying, were found in the area where the struggle with Garcia occurred.

The FBI is asking for the public’s assistance regarding the ongoing investigation into Garcia.  If you have any concerns or information you believe relevant to this investigation, please email .  Additionally, if you know of someone else who has relevant information, please encourage them to contact the FBI via the link provided.  Any information provided is voluntary but would be useful in the federal investigation.

The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Wan. It was investigated by the FBI.

Project Safe Childhood

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice 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 Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Updated March 4, 2024

Project Safe Childhood