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UPDATE | Self-proclaimed white nationalist Reardon sentenced to prison for threats against Jewish center

"While Mr. Reardon was successful in terrorizing our community, we are extremely fortunate that the legal consequences of his actions took place before an actual act of violence from which there could have been no recovery," said Andrew Lipkin, CEO of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation.
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James Reardon

CLEVELAND — A New Middletown man accused of making threats against the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown on social media was sentenced Wednesday to 41 months in prison, more than half of which will be credited for time served.

James P. Reardon, 22, pleaded guilty in federal court in May to counts of transmitting a threatening communication and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

As part of the sentencing issued by federal Judge Patricia Gaughan in Cleveland, Reardon will be subject to five years of supervision upon release, and must obtain mental health treatment as a condition of his release, court officials told Mahoning Matters. He was also fined $200.

Reardon was indicted in 2019, accused of posting a video to Instagram in which he’s seen firing a rifle over the sounds of sirens and screams. The video caption read: “Police identify shooter of Youngstown Jewish Family Center as local white nationalist Seamus O’Rearedon,” according to his criminal complaint.

Officers who raided Reardon's New Middletown home in August 2019 found an AR-15 assault rifle, a World War II-era German submachine gun — like the one depicted in his Instagram video — and various pieces of Nazi propaganda, a rifle bayonet and vintage U.S. military equipment, according to a news release Wednesday from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Authorities also reviewed other online media in which Reardon appears, including a video from the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017.

Readon has remained incarcerated in the Mahoning County Jail since his arrest following that 2019 raid. His 41-month sentence will credited for the more than 25 months he's been incarcerated.

Youngstown Area Jewish Federation CEO Andrew Lipkin on Wednesday issued a statement on Reardon's sentencing:

We are thankful this is a case where everything went right. While Mr. Reardon was successful in terrorizing our community, we are extremely fortunate that the legal consequences of his actions took place before an actual act of violence from which there could have been no recovery.

However, the threats posed to the Jewish Community Center of Youngstown were traumatic to not only staff, members and guests, but to the entire Jewish community. The JCC is the most visible and most visited agency of the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation, and serves as the hub of the Valley’s Jewish life as well as the corporate offices of the Federation.

Words, particularly hateful words, matter, and Mr. Reardon’s shattered our communal security. With this sentence, we are hopeful our community can begin to heal.

We are also hopeful that he now understands why the spread of threatening messages of hate is so dangerous and could lead to deadly outcomes. Upon his release, we encourage him to become a productive member of society.

The outpouring of support throughout this ordeal from the community, locally, statewide and nationally, is greatly appreciated. We are grateful to the local FBI and law enforcement for their swift and strong response to this matter and for their continued willingness to keep the lines of communication open at all times. We are also grateful the legal process worked as it should.



Justin Dennis

About the Author: Justin Dennis

Justin Dennis has been on the beat since 2011, covering crime, courts and public education. Dennis grew up in Poland and Salem and studied journalism and communications at Cleveland State University and University of Pittsburgh.
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