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January 24, 2023Springfield, MO, United StatesChild Exploitation

Missouri man pleads guilty to child pornography charges following HSI, law enforcement partner investigation

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Joplin man pleaded guilty in federal court Jan. 24 to receiving and distributing child pornography following a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and law enforcement partner investigation.

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

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, a cloud storage service, when Gilmore uploaded images of child pornography.

On Jan. 21, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Gilmore’s residence. Gilmore admitted using several Kik accounts to view and distribute child pornography for at least two years. He told investigators that after Kik closed his accounts for violating its terms of service, he set up new accounts with disposable Gmail addresses. 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 cellphone 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.

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.

Under federal statutes, Gilmore is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and may serve up to 20 years in federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system. The maximum statutory 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 U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan is prosecuting this case. Homeland Security Investigations; the Barry County, Missouri Sheriff’s Department; the Jasper County, Missouri Sheriff’s Department; and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force investigated.

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."

HSI is the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically 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 throughout the United States, and 93 overseas locations in 56 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.

Learn more about HSI’s mission to combat child exploitation in our community on Twitter @HSIKansasCity.