SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. - A Millington man sold drugs to children as a tactic to meet kids, and eventually abuse them sexually, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
James Holiman, 55, is charged with multiple counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, and he faces multiple drug charges.
Detectives have identified at least two young victims. Captain Chris Harris said detectives believe there are more victims who haven’t been identified. They’re searching Holiman’s phone and computers for evidence.
“I hate them little kids had to go through that stuff,” Tommy Warren, Holliman’s neighbor, said.
The arrest has shaken the community in Millington, but families who live nearby were relieved to hear law enforcement is involved.
“When I pray every morning, I just told the Lord you can move them out if they doing something wrong,” Warren said. “The Lord just answered my prayer.”
- TBI: Missing 10-year-old Tennessee girl found alive
- WATCH: Man at the center of officer-involved shooting in Southaven speaks out
- Florida woman dies days after boyfriend’s slaying, birth of twins
- MAC to give out free lipstick for National Lipstick Day
Some neighbors did not wish to speak publicly or be identified, but they described Holiman’s home as troubled. In recent years, many of them said they noticed an increase in traffic on their quiet street, and they suspected drug sales as the reason for the late-night visits.
Warren said there are often children at Holiman’s home. After he became suspicious of drug sales, he said he also worried about kids in the neighborhood.
“I’ve talked to my wife and wondered,” Warren said. “All them babies over there, and the girls. Was he messing with them or not, I didn’t know.”
Detectives arrested Holiman inside his home on the 8000 block of Epperson Mill Road Tuesday. The law enforcement officers went to the home with a search warrant for electronic devices related to an ongoing child exploitation case against Holiman.
According to court records, detectives found more than they expected while they executed the warrant.
They found a container holding 90 grams of marijuana, and THC brownies in the freezer. Three children were in the home during Holiman’s arrest, according to court records.
Detectives found a small bag of marijuana in a 12-year-old’s bedroom. According to court records, children were the suspected drug dealer’s targeted customers.
“Holiman told detectives he heard kids were buying marijuana at the Flag Manor Apartments,” detectives wrote following Holliman’s arrest. “He saw an opportunity to sell marijuana to these kids. Holiman stated after the first sale of marijuana to a kid, he thought it was easy and continued this activity.”
Neighbors at the apartment complex on the 4900 block of Navy Road were disturbed by the news of Holiman’s arrest.
“I fear for my kids to come outside, honestly,” Cameron Mack, a resident, said. “Selling drugs is ont thing. That goes on everywhere in the world. But doing that with kids, that’s scary.”
Mack said he didn’t recognize Holiman when FOX13 showed him a picture of the suspected drug dealer.
“It makes me feel safer that he’s locked up now,” Mack said. “Gets what he deserves, honestly.”
Holiman’s next court appearance is August 3. He is in the Shelby County Jail with a $225,000 bond.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.