Mahoning County Man Pleads Guilty to Using a Firearm to Threaten a Jewish Community Center in Youngstown
Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that James P. Reardon, 22, of New Middletown, Ohio, pleaded guilty in federal court today to a two-count indictment charging him with transmitting a threatening communication and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.
According to the court documents, on August 16, 2019, New Middletown police contacted the FBI after being made aware of a video uploaded to Instagram by a user later identified as Reardon. In the video, Reardon is seen holding an assault rifle in multiple firing positions with audio of gunshots, sirens and people screaming added into the background.
The video also had a caption that stated: “Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O'Rearedon." The video is shown to be tagged at the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown.
On August 16, 2019, New Middletown police officers and members of the FBI Mahoning Violent Crimes Task Force gather to prepare to execute a search warrant at Reardon’s residence. During this time, federal agents reviewed other videos involving Reardon, including a National Geographic documentary in which Reardon attended the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August of 2017.
Later that day, law enforcement executed the search warrant at Reardon’s residence and, upon entering the basement, investigators observed several firearms and clothing articles that were observed in Reardon’s Instagram video postings, including an MP-40 submachine gun like the one depicted in the video; an AR-15 assault rifle; numerous Nazi World War II propaganda posters; a rifle bayonet and vintage U.S. military equipment.
While officers were executing the search warrant, Reardon arrived at the residence and was arrested without incident.
Reardon is scheduled to be sentenced on September 22, 2021. A federal district court judge will determine a sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force and the New Middletown Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Toepfer.