SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Maximilien R. Reynolds, 21, who pleaded guilty to federal weapons charges in November, was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday.
In March 2018, Reynolds was arrested after authorities discovered a number of weapons in his Collegetown apartment, such as a rifle, bomb, and silencer. He was also found guilty of buying a firearm through a “straw purchase.” He pleaded guilty in the fall to two felony firearms charges: willfully causing false statements to be made to a licensed firearms dealer during the purchase of a firearm and possessing unregistered firearms.
Throughout the case, Reynolds’ attorney Ray Schlather has said Reynolds never intended to harm himself or anyone else but said Reynolds was acting defensively “in protection of his family and self” due to his emerging mental illness.
On Wednesday, Schlather said the sentencing was a “carefully measured result. It balances society’s interest in general deterrence against a clear recognition that Max Reynolds was sick when the underlying events occurred, and that at no time was there ever a threat or plan or target. Max and his family are grateful that he now is healthy, and that he will be home by Thanksgiving.”
The sentence includes a 24-month prison sentence with credit for time served, plus three years of post-release supervision. He has also been ordered to receive mental health services and drug treatment. He could have faced up to 10 years in prison for each charge.
Local police began investigating Reynolds after a tip from a Walmart employee, who reported that he purchased firearms and ammunition, camping gear, drill bits, miscellaneous tools and other items that raised concern.
“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.”
Some of the other items discovered in Reynolds’ apartment in March 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s office said, included over 1,000 rounds of different ammunition, a silencer, a “destructive device containing ball bearings,” bullet-proof vests, fireworks, wound kits, chemicals for making explosives, fuse cords, a pipe section and endcap, and other tactical items.
Reynolds was voluntarily admitted for a mental health treatment at Cayuga Medical’s Behavioral Sciences Unit at the time of his arrest March 15, 2018. Reynolds was a part-time student at Tompkins Cortland Community College when he was arrested and he had previously been enrolled full-time at Cornell University but was on an academic leave of absence.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick with assistance from the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office. The FBI, ATF, City of Ithaca Police, Cornell University Police, New York State Police and Tompkins Cortland Community College Campus Police assisted with the investigation.