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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

College Student In Ithaca Pleads Guilty To Federal Weapons Charges

Maximilien Reynolds Possessed Sawed-Off Rifle, Bomb, Silencer, And Bought Firearm Through A Straw Purchase

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Maximilien R. Reynolds, age 21, of Rumson, New Jersey (currently residing in Ithaca, New York, while attending college), pled guilty yesterday to two federal felony firearms offenses, announced United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith; Tompkins County District Attorney Matthew Van Houten; James N. Hendricks, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)-New York Field Division; Chief Peter Tyler-City of Ithaca Police Department; and Chief Kathy Zoner-Cornell University Police.

Reynolds pled guilty to one count of willfully causing false statements to be made to a licensed firearms dealer during the purchase of a firearm (a Savage MSR-15 Multi-Caliber .223/5.56mm Patrol Rifle) and one count of possessing firearms not registered in the National Firearms Registry and Transfer Record, related to his possession of a sawed-off Savage MSR-15 Multi-Caliber 223/5.56mm Patrol Rifle, a destructive device (bomb), and a silencer. Each offense has a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00, and a term of supervised release of 3 years following any term of incarceration. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 11, 2019 in Albany, New York, before Senior United States District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.

As part of his guilty plea yesterday, Maximilien R. Reynolds admitted that on November 28, 2017, he gave another student money to purchase a Savage MSR-15 Multi-Caliber .223/5.56 mm Patrol Rifle. Reynolds later cut down the barrel of the rifle, making it illegal to possess. He also admitted that he possessed a destructive device (bomb) and a firearms silencer seized from his apartment in Ithaca by Federal Agents and Ithaca Police on March 7, 2018. In pleading guilty, he also admitted that he possessed a .25 caliber Bauer Arms semiautomatic pistol with an obliterated serial number that was recovered by New York State Police divers from a canal on the south end of Cayuga Lake.

At the time of his arrest on March 7, 2018, Reynolds was a part-time student at Tompkins-Cortland Community College. He was previously enrolled as a full-time student at Cornell University, but was on an academic leave of absence.

As part of his guilty plea yesterday, Maximilien R. Reynolds also agreed to the forfeiture of the destructive device (bomb) and silencer, as well as to the abandonment of the Bauer Arms .25 caliber semiautomatic pistol with obliterated serial number, 917 rounds of .223 caliber rifle ammunition, 135 rounds of 12 gauge shotgun ammunition, several .223 caliber magazine clips, 2 bullet-proof vests, a laser sight, ball bearings, a gas mask, chemicals of various kinds, a pipe section with one endcap, a flare gun, and other items seized during this investigation from his apartment and a storage unit. The Savage MSR-15 Multi-Caliber .223/5.56 mm Patrol Rifle was previously forfeited through an administrative proceeding.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the City of Ithaca Police Department, the Cornell University Police, the New York State Police and the Tompkins-Cortland Community College Police and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick and the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office.

Firearms Offenses
National Security
Violent Crime
Updated November 14, 2018