Benjamin Brown of Waterville, arrested recently by the FBI on allegations that he threatened to kill people, including President Joe Biden, in online posts, is shown in a December 2023 photo taken in California, according to Brown’s partner. Contributed photo

WATERVILLE — The man arrested last week by the FBI after allegedly making online threats to kill President Joe Biden, other politicians and immigrants, suffers from mental illness and likely wouldn’t hurt anyone according to both his partner and mother.

Benjamin Brown, 45, of 10 Spring St., Waterville, was arrested by the FBI on March 11 and charged with transmitting a threatening interstate communication in violation of federal law. He made an initial appearance on Tuesday, March 12, in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Officials won’t say what was seized in a search of Brown’s apartment the day of his arrest, but his partner of 14 years said authorities took their children’s computer, Brown’s computer and tablet and “a couple of USB drives.” Brown’s partner, who asked not to be identified for fear of losing her job, said Brown had no firearms or explosives. His mother, Rita Koyoumjian of Delaware, said she had never known him to own guns or explosives.

“He’s all mouth,” she said. “I’ve never known him to be in a fight. I’ve never known him to hurt anyone. His medical background is extensive and he’s noncompliant with medication and treatment.”

A retired nurse, Koyoumjian acknowledged that her son has had a long history of mental health issues from the time he was 2 years old. When she saw news reports of his being arrested in Waterville, she was disheartened that his mental health was not mentioned.

Brown was diagnosed at a young age with attention deficit disorder, Tourette syndrome, oppositional defiance disorder and hyperactivity disorder, she said, and “at one point somebody said he had schizoaffective disorder. He’s not necessarily delusional, but he’s not realistic in many ways either.”


In court March 12, Brown was appointed an attorney, Donald Brown, whose office is in Brewer. He has not returned calls seeking comment.

Kristen Setera, spokeswoman for the FBI Boston Division that covers Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, said in an email last week that Brown was taken into custody without incident. She provided copies of the charging documents, but said her office declined further comment because it is a pending matter before the court.

A court employee said a detention hearing for Brown will be considered day-t0-day, upon agreement of both parties.


Outside their apartment building on Monday, Brown’s partner said he was scheduled to have a mental evaluation this week. He is being detained, but is allowed to call his children, ages 12 and 14, each day.

She said Brown “is really not a bad person,” but watches the news a lot and gets riled up and emotional.


“It was all talk (his threats against Biden) and it has to do with his mental illness,” she said. “He likes to vent a lot.”

Brown made a number of YouTube comments over the past several years that included threats to hurt or kill elected officials and immigrants and claimed he was stockpiling weapons in preparation for a violent civil war in the U.S., according to a criminal complaint and probable cause affidavit filed in court by Jonathan Duquette, an FBI task force officer.

The 13-page FBI affidavit details a number of threats allegedly made by Brown dating back to 2021.

“I have thought an awful lot about killing Joe Biden!!” Brown allegedly wrote in a post on Feb. 16, 2021. “I can’t wait for a revolution so we can burn Washington to the (expletive) ground!!!”

In a post about a month ago, Brown allegedly wrote that he was “going to go out and buy an AR-15” in preparation for a revolution, while claiming that he and others “have every legal right to kill” illegal immigrants “and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”

Brown’s partner said they have been together 14 years, and have a daughter, 12, and she has a 14-year-old boy from a previous relationship. The couple met when Brown was living in California, where she is from. At the time, Brown was trying to work in the movie business, she said.


“He loves his kids. He worries about the smallest things. He can’t even watch a sad movie because he is emotional and starts crying.”

Brown has a hard time holding down a job and recently worked at a Waterville restaurant, according to his partner.

Benjamin Brown of Waterville is shown in a December 2023 photo taken in California, according to Brown’s partner. Both she and Brown’s mother say he suffers from mental illness and likely wouldn’t hurt anyone.  Contributed photo


Koyoumjian said that at age 2, Brown began to be very defiant. “If you told him to put his toys away, he’d put the toys on the floor,” she said.

Brown grew up in Philadelphia and attended a special school in Germantown, according to Koyoumjian, who said he had a lot of support from family. She and his father were divorced and both are remarried. After Brown graduated from high school he drifted around, lived near his mother for a while and worked in restaurants, she said. The older he got, the less he conformed to rules and he didn’t like anyone telling him what to do, she said.

She said he and his partner and children lived in a mobile home that she and her husband bought for them, but Brown didn’t take care of it and didn’t pay the lot rent and electric bill, causing friction between mother and son.


He and his partner and children moved to Maine about five years ago, first living in an apartment on Gold Street and then moving to one on Spring Street in 2020, according to his mother. About two years ago, Brown asked his mother to buy them a house and when she refused, he got angry and cut her off from the children, she said. While she stays in touch with his partner, she hasn’t spoken with her son in about two years and he has alienated the rest of his family, she said.

When Brown was young he received treatment and was prescribed medication from a mental health outreach agency that his mother worked for, Koyoumjian said.

“When he got to be a certain age, he refused to take them,” she said.

Koyoumjian said she thinks he needs treatment and possibly anger-management training, and be required to stay on medication so he isn’t so argumentative and doesn’t make threats or have outbursts.

“As far as the political situation, part of that might be he is Jewish and there’s a lot of antisemitism around that may affect him that way,” she said. “I don’t think he has ever voted in his life.”

Koyoumjian said she has never seen him with a gun. “I don’t think he’d even know how to use it,” she said.


She said he apologizes when he is confronted by authorities and she thinks if he were to be threatened by someone bigger than he is, he would run away.

“That’s the only power he has is to say something outrageous — that’s his MO,” she said.

She added that he loves his children, cooks for them and takes them where they need to go. “He’s very loveable and affectionate toward them,” she said.

Brown and his family vacationed in Maine when he was young and loved it, according to his mother. She thinks he chose to move to Maine because it is peaceful and he can use marijuana, with which he self-medicates, legally.

She was relieved when she learned he will get an evaluation and possibly treatment, she said.

“To me, that’s what he lacks, a structured program to get his head straight,” she said. “… That’s really the issue, is to follow the rules of society. You can’t threaten people. Because he has issues with impulse control, he gets into trouble with his mouth.”

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