Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Largo puppeteer faces child pornography charges

Largo puppeteer faces child pornography charges

describes graphic accusations

By ELAINE SILVESTRINI  The Tampa Tribune July 24, 2012

A puppeteer who has entertained children for years around the Tampa area had a sickening secret, according to a federal complaint.

Ron Brown collected pornographic images of children and fantasized about strangling, dismembering and cannibalizing children, court documents state. The 57-year-old Largo man is under arrest in the Pinellas County Jail, facing federal charges of conspiring to kidnap a child and possession of child pornography.

He was arrested as part of an international investigation conducted by federal Homeland Security agents based in Boston.

Brown was listed in the Pinellas County Schools speakers' directory as puppetry speaker for grades K-8. A school district spokesperson said his name was removed Monday because of his arrest....

Brown's Facebook page and a newspaper profile give his employment as the Christian Television Network. A call to the station was not returned on Monday....

Investigators who searched Brown's home found images of child pornography, children in bondage and children who appear deceased. The images were on his computer and on a CD in his sock drawer. He told agents he talks with people online about strangling children and is part of a "strangle group" in Yahoo. "Brown stated that these are his fantasies and told agents he would never really do this," the complaint states....

Stacy Gaughan, a former president of the residents association for Brown's mobile home park, Whispering Pines, said people have complained for years about the fact that children are always playing in his driveway and in his home.

Gaughan said she always thought something was wrong. "When you have boys at your house constantly, and you let them come in and they're playing in your driveway, I would consider that strange for an older guy," she said. She said there would be between seven and 15 kids at the house at any given time. She estimated their age range was also from 7 to 15....

The criminal complaint affidavit contains pages of Brown's online chats about harming children. He talks about wishing he had a child tied and gagged in a closet and wanting to eat the child for Easter.

During one chat, the complaint states, Brown solicited a Kansas City man, Michael Arnett, for help in the apparent abduction and murder of a child. Arnett was arrested May 23 and charged with producing child pornography....

Officials said Brown's arrest arises from an investigation that began with the arrest in Massachusetts of Robert Diduca, 48, who was sentenced last month to 18 years in federal prison. A photo found on Diduca's computer led to 33 arrests – eight in the U.S., according to a June news release from the Department of Homeland Security.

Diduca chatted online with another person, who is being prosecuted in Arizona. The news release says Diduca persuaded the other person to sexually abuse and take explicit photos of a 4-year-old child.

Ronald Brown, Puppeteer, Planned To Rape, Kill, Eat Children: Florida Police

The Huffington Post  By Andy Campbell 07/25/2012

A Florida puppeteer who entertains children at birthday parties, schools and churches, secretly wanted to rape, kill and eat them, cops said.

Ronald Brown, 57, of Largo, was arrested last week after federal agents  found that he'd allegedly been chatting online with child pornography suspects about "extremely graphic discussions regarding kidnapping, sexually abusing, murdering and eating children," according to a federal complaint obtained by the Tampa Bay Times....

Brown -- whose Puppets Plus website promises "grins and giggles" for kids -- was reportedly caught in online chat rooms with people the feds were investigating as part of a child pornography ring in Massachusetts. He allegedly fantasized about strangling, dismembering and eating his victims.

During one chat session, police claim he said he wanted to tie a child up, lock him in a closet and then eat him for Easter supper. In another, he allegedly stated that his mouth watered when he looked at a female toddler.

In a search of his home on July 19, cops found a CD full of photographs showing dead children and kids posed in bondage positions, The Weekly Vice reported. Brown also told FBI agents that he wanted to eat a little boy he met at a local church.

Brown lives in a neighborhood near several playgrounds and regularly invited children over to his house for pizza, according to the news site.

But it isn't the first time he's been eyed as suspicious. In 1998, he was investigated after police found several pairs of boys' underwear in the front seat of his car. He maintained that they were puppet clothes.

Brown was arrested and booked on charges of conspiring to kidnap a child and possession of child pornography.

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