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Largo Puppeteer Charged With Child Porn, Conspiracy To Kidnap Children

by Jason Clary, CBSTampa.com
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From the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

From the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

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A Largo puppeteer has been arrested on charges of child pornography and conspiring to kidnap a child, authorities say.

Ronald Brown, 57, is described in a complaint assembled by the Department of Homeland Security as engaging in conversations of the most graphic and gruesome sort – and, as a warning, certain details that follow in this story are highly disturbing. The report, the result of an international investigation, focuses on Brown’s conversations with another man about fondling, cooking and eating young children.

It chronicles how Brown, who stages puppet shows for children, talked about a boy he knew, saying things like “I wish I had him tied and gagged in the closet” and “he was looking good in the last pic that I got.”

Brown was stopped for a 1998 traffic violation in which an officer saw boys underwear in the front seat. He told the deputy he used the underwear for dressing his puppets.

According to the Tampa Tribune, Brown is listed as an employee with the Christian Television Network. They declined to comment about Brown’s employment or the situation.

Brown was also listed in the Pinellas County Schools’ Speaker Directory. “This person (Brown) was listed in the speaker directory for his puppetry,” said Melanie Marquez, spokeswoman for Pinellas County Schools. “Once we learned about his arrest we removed him from the directory.”

The complaint detailed a profile titled “Ron” for a website, in which his biography describes a strong interest in necrophilia.

A search warrant was issued on July 19 for Brown’s residence  in order to determine his role in the “the receipt of child pornography and the interest in the abuse and/or abduction, murder and cannibalism of children.”

The Homeland Security Investigators found and seized media including CDs, DVDs, thumb drives, micro disks and VHS tapes. Upon the preview of a desktop computer, several images of naked, tied up and possibly deceased children were found.

Brown told investigators that he chats about strangling children and is a member of a “strangle group” on the Internet. He also described a boy he knew from church that if able, he would “probably eat.” In addition, he told investigators that he helps out in the children’s area of the church he attends and has weekly get-togethers with neighborhood children from the church.

In the report, Brown claims that the acts of “killing, dismembering and eating” the boy he knew described in numerous chat conversations were “in the realm of fantasy” and that he had no desire to do anything.

He was booked in the Pinellas County Jail on Friday and is set to appear at the Tampa federal courthouse Tuesday.

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