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Man who made threats against Jewish center indicted on federal charges

Posted at 2:06 PM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-28 09:06:03-04

CLEVELAND — A Mahoning County man who was arrested last month for allegedly making threats against a Jewish community center has been indicted on federal charges.

According to the U.S. District Attorney's Office, James P. Reardon, 20, of New Middletown, is charged with one count of transmitting an interstate communication threat and one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Authorities said that on Aug. 16, New Middletown police reached out to the FBI after the department became aware of an Instagram post that showed a video of Reardon holding a semi-automatic rifle and making threats. The video was dubbed over with sound effects of police sirens and screams. The video had the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown tagged as a location and had the caption: "Police identified the Youngstown Jewish Family Community shooter as local white nationalist Seamus O' Rearedon."

During the investigation, New Middletown Police Department showed the FBI other videos of Reardon at the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017 and one showing Reardon firing a weapon while making threats about "Jewish media," authorities said.

“This defendant used a firearm to threaten people who simply want to worship as they choose, as guaranteed by our Constitution,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Law enforcement will not stand by and allow someone to intimidate others with threats of violence.”

Authorities served a search warrant on Reardon's house later that day. Inside the home, law enforcement found an MP-40 submachine gun, an AR-15 rifle, various World War II Nazi propaganda posters, another rifle with a bayonet attached, vintage military equipment and an Adolf Hitler Youth knife.

Reardon was arrested without incident.

“In today's environment, shootings in public places, churches, and schools have occurred too often,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith. “Law enforcement must react swiftly to threats of violence. This defendant’s video demonstrated that he had access to weapons and he posed a threat to a Jewish community center. Law enforcement cannot wait to see if a shooting is going to occur, law enforcement must act quickly within the confines of the law to disrupt any potential violent act. The public is reminded — if you see something, say something.”

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