AURORA, Mo. - An Aurora, Mo., man listed as a witness in the case against the man accused of shooting and killing three people at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom Retirement Center in Overland Park in April was indicted for lying on an application to purchase a firearm.
On May 7, a Federal Grand Jury indicted John Mark Reidle , 47, of Aurora, Mo., for providing false information on an application to buy a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun at a Walmart in Republic, Mo.
The indictment, which only recently became unsealed, states Reidle wrote on the application that he was the actual buyer of the firearm when he knew he was not the buyer of the firearm.
This sort of practice is referred to by law enforcement as a “straw purchase.” In a straw purchase, a person without a criminal record buys a weapon for someone who either has a criminal record or does not want their name associated with the purchase.
Straw purchases present a significant problem for law enforcement agencies as criminals use it as an avenue to get their hands on weapons illegally.
The act of buying a gun for someone who is prohibited from purchasing one is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Still, the Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that 40 percent of criminals get their weapons through friends or family while another 40 percent get their weapons through other illegal avenues on the street.
The indictment does not say who received the weapon Reidle purchased. When contacted by 41 Action News, neither the ATF nor the US Attorney’s office would comment on whether the gun used by the suspected JCC gunman Frazier Glenn (Cross) Miller traced back to Reidle.
There has been speculation as to how Miller, a convicted felon, was able to acquire the guns used in the April shooting that killed Reat Underwood, 14, his grandfather, Dr. William Corporon, 69, and Terri LaManno, 53.
However, a search warrant executed on April 13 at the home of Miller, listed “Owner’s manual for Remington Model 870 Shotgun RS16947N” and “Aurora Advertiser invoice for 12-gauge shotgun” as items retrieved by investigators.
Both men are from Aurora, Mo. Their addresses are roughly 9 miles away from each other.
Reidle’s name also appears in a list of witnesses contained in the charging documents against Miller.
The Johnson County District Attorney’s office declined to speak about the case citing a gag order issued by the judge in the case.
The ATF also declined to comment about their investigation into the case involving Miller saying only that it is “ongoing.”