Clare County couple arrested on child sex crime charges

A Clare County couple is accused of sex crimes involving children. The arrests follow an extensive investigation with several state and federal agencies.

A Clare County couple is accused of sex crimes involving children.

The arrests follow an extensive investigation with several state and federal agencies.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Mt. Pleasant Post conducted a joint investigation with the Michigan State Police Sixth District Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, the United States Department of Homeland Security, Wichita Kansas Police and the Clare County Sheriff Department which lead to the arrest of a Clare County couple on multiple sex crime charges.

In January, investigators learned that 41-year-old Jason Shannon had been trading child pornography with another man in Kansas.

Detective Sergeant Gary Green tells us that Shannon knew the man from when he served time in prison previously for similar charges.

Agents from the Department of Homeland Security and Investigators from the Wichita Police Department conducted an investigation in the state of Kansas which led to the development of the suspect, Jason Shannon, a registered sex offender in Michigan.

Investigators executed a search warrant on Jason Shannon's Sheridan Township home and seized computers and equipment used in the downloading and distribution of the sexually abusive material.

Investigators also say Jason Shannon and his female companion, 32-year-old Crystal Little, confessed to sexually assaulting a child.

"I interviewed both Ms. Little and Mr. Shannon and they subsequently confessed to their part in crimes against a child," Detective Green said. "As a result, they were charged with a variety of sex crimes."

The 80th District Court issued a 27 count felony warrant for Jason Shannon on charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct, Child Sexually Abusive Activities, Using a Computer in the Commission of a Felony, Providing Sexually Explicit Material to a Minor, Sex Offender Registration Violation, Habitual Offender, and Weapons charges based on charges.

The court also issued a three count felony warrant for Crystal Little on charges of Criminal Sexual Conduct, Providing Sexually Explicit Material to a Minor, and Aiding and Abetting charges.

"Itâ??s heart-wrenching to know thereâ??s people out there doing these things to children," Michelle Ambrozaitis, Clare County Prosecuting Attorney said. "This is one of the reasons why I do this, is to provide justice to these children."

"Itâ??s a bad situation," Detective Sergeant Green said. "Nobody likes to have that in society at all. To think it was so close to where we live, Iâ??m sure it affects a lot of people. It is one of those that shocks the conscious. We take crimes against children very seriously. It actually is the main focus of what we do. It takes the highest priority in the job that we do here."

Jason Shannon and Crystal Little were arrested Tuesday and charged Wednesday. Jason Shannon's bond was set at $1,000,000.00. Crystal Little's bond was set at $100,000.

Detective Sergeant Green believes there could be more people involved with this case across different states.

"Thereâ??s at least two children involved, that we are aware of," Detective Sergeant Green said. "There are some more that havenâ??t been identified in other states. This is far reaching, as far as there are different individuals in different states that the Department of Homeland Security is looking at, that are tied to this investigation as well."

Detective Sergeant Green has some words of advice for parents on how to protect their children from these horrendous crimes.

"Talk to them," Detective Sergeant Green said. "Educate them. If somethingâ??s happening to them that makes them feel uncomfortable, keep those lines of communication open so that the child feels comfortable to tell you that somethingâ??s going on."

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