MASON - A Holt man was charged Thursday with three counts of criminal sexual conduct involving children after his arrest yesterday.
Lawrence Frederick Gibbs, 57, was charged with one count first degree criminal sexual conduct against a 7-year-old and two counts of second degree sexual conduct against a 13- and 14-year-old. All the victims were young males.
Gibbs, who lives at 5681 McCue Road in Holt, is considered a habitual offender. In 2001 he was convicted of fourth degree criminal sexual assault against a young boy in Missaukee County, and received 90 days on a tether and two years probation.
The charges are worse in Ingham County, and he faces a much harsher sentence if convicted: life in prison.
"On one hand, you're pleased that our investigators have got the talent to get these people off the street," said Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wriggelsworth. "On the other side of the coin, it's sad that we have to worry about our kids encountering these type of people."
How Gibbs encountered his victims, police are not yet revealing.
"We're not going to release the minutia of this investigation," Sheriff Wriggelsworth said. "We received a complaint, and we're not going to get into the gory details."
Ingham County Police received that initial complaint in December 2011 from the two teenagers. They've been investigating ever since, which led them to the 7-year-old victim, and finally an arrest and search warrant Wednesday.
"The [Michigan State Police] internet task force went went with us on the search warrant, and they're going to do a forensic analysis on the computers to see anything that will take us in another direction," said Sheriff Wriggelsworth.
The police said Gibbs is not only a registered sex offender, but also a registered federal firearms dealer. He had so many guns in his home, police lost count in just one room.
"It has many, many guns. I'm not exaggerating, many guns in that house," Sheriff Wriggelsworth said. "So we wanted to make sure in terms of safety to the officers, and safety to the neighborhood, that we got him away from there."
Police blocked off McCue Road, waitied for Gibbs to leave his home, and arrested him in a routine traffic stop.
Gibbs' primary address is also listed as Best Heating and Cooling, the business he owns. Police say they have no idea if Gibbs actually does any work of that kind around town.
Gibbs is currently being held without bond as the investigation continues.
"I'm not aware of any investigation involving neighborhood kids, but this investigation isn't over either," Sheriff Wriggelsworth said. "So there could be more developments as it bumps down the road."
Gibbs' preliminary exam is scheduled for June 12.