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MT man indicted on federal charges for "AK-47 Bandit" bank robbe - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

MT man indicted on federal charges for "AK-47 Bandit" bank robbery

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Richard Gathercole was arrested in Nebraska (CBS Nebraska) Richard Gathercole was arrested in Nebraska (CBS Nebraska)
BILLINGS -

The Roundup man who FBI believes to be a serial bank robber has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle with robbery in what is likely the first of many federal charges to come.

Richard Lee Gathercole, 39, was indicted Thursday in U.S. District Court in Seattle on one count of bank robbery and one count of using a weapon in the commission of a violent crime.

That same day, Gathercole was charged in a Dawson County courtroom in Nebraska with theft and possession of a stolen firearm.

The FBI said at a June press conference that they believe Gathercole is the AK-47 Bandit, who is wanted in four states for at least five bank robberies since 2012.

According to the indictment file in Seattle, Gathercole used an AK-47 to rob a Chase Bank in North Bend, WA in 2012. Gathercole allegedly stole $12,000 from the bank.

But according to a search warrant filed in U.S. District Court in Billings, the amount of money stolen from the North Bend bank is much less than the robber stole from other banks.

The bandit robbed a Nebraska bank of $90,000 and robbed an Iowa bank of $120,000. A bank in Chino, CA was robbed and an officer was shot outside the bank following the robbery. A bank in Idaho was also robbed as part of the series that the FBI tied to the AK-47 Bandit.

The crook was so-named because he used an AK-47 rifle in every robbery and wore a ski mask, along with body armor.

Gathercole was arrested in Nebraska last month after he allegedly shot at a Kansas State trooper during a traffic stop. Gathercole allegedly used an AK-47 to fire at the trooper as he continued driving. The officer was not struck by the bullets, but Gathercole is expected to be charged with attempted murder for that incident.

After allegedly firing shots at the trooper, Gathercole crashed the vehicle he was driving and stole a pickup truck from a farmer at gunpoint.  Gathercole was arrested at a Nebraska truck stop not long after. He is in custody awaiting what federal officials called a long list of charges.

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