ITHACA, N.Y. — A former Cornell student who was found to have numerous weapons, a bomb and silencer earlier this year in his Collegetown apartment, has pleaded guilty to two federal charges. He could face up to 10 years in prison for each charge.
Maximilien Reynolds, 21, of Rumson, New Jersey, pleaded guilty to possessing unregistered weapons and willfully causing false statements to a firearms dealer in U.S. District Court this week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York said.
On Tuesday, Reynolds pleaded guilty to two federal charges: willfully causing false statements to be made to a licensed firearms dealer during the purchase of a firearm and possessing firearms not registered in the National Firearms Registry and Transform Record.
Reynolds was in possession of a sawed-off Savage MSR-15 Multi-Caliber 223/5.56mm Patrol Rifle, a bomb, and a silencer, the attorney’s office said.
As part of his plea, Reynolds admitted to giving another student money in November 2017 to purchase the rifle. He later cut down the barrel of the rifle, which made it illegal to possess, the attorney’s office said. He also admitted to possessing a bomb and silencer, which were seized in his Collegetown apartment by Ithaca police and federal agents in March.
New York State Police divers also found a .25 caliber Bauer Arms semiautomatic pistol with an obliterated serial number on the south end of Cayuga Lake.
In a statement, Reynolds’ attorney Ray Schlather said there was no intent to cause harm to himself or anyone else.
“As everyone involved in this case recognizes, there was no plan, no target, no threats, no anger, and no intent to cause harm to himself or to anyone else,” Schlather said. “At all times, due to his emerging mental illness, Mr. Reynolds was acting defensively and in protection of his family and self. Fortunately, Mr. Reynolds now is able to understand and to accept his responsibility. He, his family and his many sympathetic friends and supporters, look forward to appropriate treatment under Court supervision. The Court will consider all of these factors at the time of sentencing.”
Court records show that in March, Reynolds purchased firearms and ammunition, as well as camping gear, drill bits, miscellaneous tools and other items that raised alarm for a Walmart employee. The tip from a Walmart employee turned into an “alarming discovery” of weapons and explosive materials in the former Cornell student’s Collegetown apartment.
“What started as a tip from a citizen at a local business about some suspicious behavior led to an alarming discovery,” Ithaca Police Chief Pete Tyler said in a statement in March after Reynolds’ arrest. “The high capacity magazine and silencer are illegal to possess; the law is very clear on that. Collectively all of these items certainly suggest a specific recipe for large-scale destruction.”
Related: Tip from Walmart employee led to discovery of arsenal in former Cornell student’s apartment
At the time of his arrest in March, Reynolds was on a leave of absence from the university and taking classes at Tompkins Cortland Community College, court records said. He was living in Collegetown at 111 Dryden Rd.
Court records indicate that a psychiatric examination of Reynolds was ordered in March and completed around August. In March, attorney Ray Schlather who is representing Reynolds said at the time of Reynolds’ arrest, he was sick and in the midst of receiving treatment at Cayuga Medical Center’s Behavioral Sciences Unit. In August, a judge found that Reynolds’ “competency has been restored” and he is able to understand the charges pending against him and is “able to meaningfully participate in legal proceedings.”
Reynolds could face up to 10 years in prison on each of the charges, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of three years following incarceration. His sentencing is scheduled for March 2019.
Reynolds’ sentencing is scheduled for March 11 in Albany before Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas McAvoy.