Man threatens possession of harmful images, now behind bars | News
Polk County, Florida-- Polk County Sheriff's detectives arrested John Robert Browning, 33, today after he attempted to get the Mosaic Corporation to pay him thousands of dollars for a digital media card he claimed stored incriminating photos.
According to the affidavit, Browning called the Mosaic office in Lithia on May 7, and told a legal secretary that he found a broken camera and that the media card inside had "1,137 pictures of Mosaic property with chemical spills and damaged property, that could cause damage to their reputation if the wrong entity possessed them."
He told the secretary that he wanted a finder's fee to turn the card over.
Hamp Plowden, security superintendent for Mosaic, who is also a former full-time PCSO deputy sheriff and current Reserve Deputy Sheriff, called Browning and spoke with him two more times.
Browning asked Plowden for a "finder's fee" for the photos, and stated several times, "I am in this for the money."
Plowden reported the incident to PCSO, and together Plowden and detectives called Browning a third time.
When Browning was asked what he thought an appropriate "finder's fee" would be, he asked for $10,000.
Working with PCSO detectives, Plowden offered Browning $2,500 for the digital media card, and Browning agreed to the amount. He also agreed to sign a legal document stating he would not speak of the incident to anyone after the transaction was made.
When Browning arrived at the scheduled meeting place, he was arrested without incident on one count Extortion, and is now being booked into the Polk County Jail.
Upon his arrest, Browning had a digital media card (which does not contain 1,137 photos of chemical spills or damaged property), and notes with details of the meeting and the amount of money he was to receive.
He has three prior mugshots at www.polksheriff.org.