Springfield, Mo. – A Joplin man pleaded guilty Jan. 24 in federal court to receiving and distributing child pornography following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and a law enforcement partner.
Dakota James Gilmore, 32, was sentenced by US Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush pleaded guilty to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.
Gilmore also admitted to viewing and distributing child pornography using the Kik social media app on his iPhone. When Gilmore uploaded the child pornography images, an officer with the Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force received four cyber tips from Kik and one from the cloud storage service Dropbox.
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 claimed he was a member of at least 50 child pornography groups in Kik. Many of these groups require individuals to distribute child pornography before they are allowed to join the group.
A preliminary examination of Gilmore’s cellphone indicated the suspect sent texts containing child pornography to another person. Suspected child pornography depicts sexually abusing adult children over the age of five.
Gilmore is required to register as a sex offender upon his release from prison and is subject to federal and state sex offender registration requirements that may apply for the rest of his life.
Under federal laws, Gilmore faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and could serve up to 20 years in federal prison. There is no parole in the union system. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the court determines a defendant’s sentence based on the Advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. The court will schedule Gilmore’s sentencing hearing after the United States Probation Office completes its presentence investigation.
Assistant US Attorney Stephanie L. Vaughn is prosecuting the case. homeland security investigations; Barry County, Missouri Sheriff’s Department; Jasper County, Missouri Sheriff’s Department; And the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force investigated.
The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched by the Department of Justice in May 2006 to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. The United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Pornography Division, Project Safe Childhood, marshal federal, state and local resources to detect, arrest, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and protect victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information on Internet Safety Education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the “Resources” tab.
HSI is the lead investigative division of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for investigating international crime and threats, particularly criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure that moves international trade, travel and finance. HSI’s workforce of more than 8,700 employees includes 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 law enforcement 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.