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Puppeteer who fantasized online about cannibalism arrested for child porn, conspiring to kidnap

Pinellas County SO

Ronald William Brown, 57, of Florida was arrested after police uncovered graphic Internet chats in which he talked about abducting, murdering and cannibalizing children.

A Florida puppeteer known for community involvement was arrested and charged with conspiring to kidnap a child and possession of child pornography, according to a criminal complaint filed in a federal court in Tampa court on Friday.

A day earlier, federal and local agents arrested Ronald William Brown, 57, after uncovering graphic Internet chats in which he talked about abducting, murdering and cannibalizing children, referring specifically to his interest in a boy attending his church, the complaint says.

In a search of Brown's computer investigators came across pornographic images of children, including some of boys in bondage and others in which the subject appears to be dead, according to the 29-page complaint.


Brown, who lived alone in the Whispering Pines mobile home park in Largo, had ties to many organizations in the Tampa Bay area, including the Gulf Coast Church, the Pinellas County School District, the Christian Television Network, the city of Largo, and Gulf Coast Jewish Family & Community Services, the Tampa Bay Times reported. All said Brown had been hired or volunteered as a performer, instructor or mentor, according to the report.

According to the documents, Brown admitted to fantasizing about killing, dismembering and cannibalizing children, but said it was just a fantasy and that he would never hurt anyone.

A Homeland Security investigation of Michael Arnett, a suspect in Kansas City, led authorities to Brown, the complaint said.

It said Arnett, who allegedly possessed pornographic images of children, including some who appeared to be decapitated, engaged in lengthy online chats with Brown and others about killing and canabalizing children.

The documents include extensive excerpts from his discussions with Brown, obtained from Yahoo through a subpoena in which Brown muses about killing a particular child. In the court filing, the child's name is replaced with “C” to protect his identity.

"Maybe I can tell him that he’s a big boy now and he can take it. I could give him a choice on how he wants to go," wrote uelime, an online name used by Brown in a chat dated April 23, 2011, in one excerpt included in the complaint.

"That would be nice of you :)," responded calf_keeper2, the online identity of Michael Arnett, the complaint alleges. "Give him choices/ all which end up in him being cut up and eaten."

"I could ask him how he wants each cut of his body to be done and then label it for him with a black marker," uelime replies.

The complaint says that Brown told investigators in an interview that Arnett had traveled to Tampa and attempted to contact him, but that he did not respond because "he had no desire to do anything."

Arnett was arrested in May and charged with two counts related to the production, distribution and possession of child pornography.

Agents were still investigating claims that Arnett made to Brown that he had cannibalized a child, according to the Times report, citing Ross Feinstein, spokesman at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

An attorney speaking to reporters on Brown’s behalf on Tuesday told reporters he believes Brown is innocent and the conspiracy charge won't hold up because Brown never actually met with Arnett, the Times reported.

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