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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, January 23, 2023

Joplin Man Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Joplin, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to receiving and distributing child pornography.

Dakotah James Gilmore, 32, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.

By pleading guilty today, Gilmore admitted that he viewed and distributed child pornography using the Kik social media application on his iPhone. An officer with the Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force received four Cyber Tips from Kik and one from Dropbox when Gilmore uploaded images of child pornography.

On Jan. 21, 2022, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Gilmore’s residence. Gilmore admitted to viewing and distributing child pornography for at least two years, using several different Kik accounts. Gilmore told investigators that after Kik would close the accounts for violating their terms of service, he would set up a new account with a disposable Gmail address. He also stated that he was a member of at least 50 child pornography groups on Kik. Most of these groups require individuals to distribute child pornography before allowing them to join the group.

A preliminary examination of Gilmore’s cell phone indicated that he sent texts to another person that contained suspected child pornography. The suspected child pornography depicted prepubescent children, no older than five years old, being sexually abused.

Under federal statutes, Gilmore is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

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 may apply throughout his life.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan. It was investigated by the Barry County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

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 www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated January 24, 2023