a mathematician, worked for the government at
the U.S. Army Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.
Reno had been a member of the Communist Party
and had briefly known Whittaker
Chambers, but by the time he was working
for the Army had cut himself off from Communist
activities. After Chambers left the Party, he
visited Reno and asked him for money.
to Meyer Zeligs,
several of Reno's co-workers considered this
visit a form of blackmail and gave Reno the
$50 that Chambers was demanding. They also said
that Chambers was threatening that if Reno didn't
turn over to him a document - any document -
that Chambers would expose Reno's Communist
past to authorities. Reno gave Chambers a document
that had been casually discarded. Chambers later
turned it over to the government to prove his
charges of espionage. The paper contained the
firing tables of a 1917 Browning machine gun.
1951, Reno was indicted on charges of concealing
his membership in the Communist Party from the
government. He pleaded guilty and served three
years in prison at Leavenworth.