Man who sold gun used to kill officer gets prison

Posted: July 25, 2007

A man convicted of selling firearms without a license, including one that authorities say was used to kill a Reading police officer last year, was sentenced yesterday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia to a year and nine months in federal prison.

Prosecutors said Jarad Tomline, 29, an unemployed car salesman who has lived at various addresses in Lehigh and Northampton Counties, had been a straw buyer of guns. He bought several high-powered weapons between August 2005 and last July, including the .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol used in the Aug. 6, 2006, killing of Officer Scott Wertz, authorities said.

Tomline pleaded guilty in October to 13 charges: one count of selling firearms without a license, six counts of possession of a firearm by a user of illegal drugs, and six counts of making false statements on his federal firearms application. Defense attorney John J. Waldron has said his client did not sell a weapon directly to the man accused of killing Wertz but to someone who resold it.

Wertz, 40, and another officer were chasing a suspect when the man turned and fired, authorities said. Cletus C. Rivera, 24, of Reading, is being held in Berks County Prison without bail on a charge of first-degree murder. Authorities have said Tomline was not involved in the killing. - AP

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