“Buckeye Bandit” gets 20 years for eight bank robberies


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com



A Columbus man nicknamed the “Buckeye Bandit” has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for robbing a series of banks including the First Merit Bank in Powell.

Ikechi W. Emeaghara, 27, appeared in U.S. District Court Friday to be sentenced for eight counts of armed bank robbery.

According to court documents, law enforcement nicknamed Emeaghara the “Buckeye Bandit” for a string of armed bank robberies dating back to 2013.

According to court documents, Emeaghara brandished a dangerous weapon and demanded cash from bank tellers’ drawers on the following occasions and locations:

· Oct. 31, 2013 at the Wesbanco Bank on South Stygler Road in Gahanna

· Nov. 30, 2013 at the Cooper State Bank on West 5th Avenue in Columbus

· Dec. 6, 2013 at the Wesbanco Bank on South Stygler Road in Gahanna

· July 9, 2014 at the Smart Federal Credit Union on North High Street in Columbus

· Jan. 12, 2015 at the Cooper State Bank on Sawmill Road in Columbus

· April 26, 2015 at the Cooper State Bank on Sawmill Road in Columbus

· March 17, 2016 at the First Merit Bank on East Powell Road in Powell

· Oct. 21, 2016 at the Key Bank on Frantz Road in Columbus

Court records indicate that during the Oct. 21, 2016 robbery two bank tellers at Key Bank in Columbus placed a GPS tracking device inside the bag they gave to Emeaghara. Columbus police were notified by the silent alarm and police attempted to stop Emeaghara’s vehicle.

Eventually, Emeaghara pulled into a parking lot on Lakehurst Court in Columbus and walked towards officers, pointing his handgun at them. Officers shot Emeaghara several times and he was transported to Grant Medical Center and treated for his wounds.

Emeaghara was indicted by a federal grand jury in November and December 2016 and charged with eight counts of armed bank robbery, one count for each bank. He pleaded guilty to the charges in March 2017.

Emeaghara was also ordered to pay restitution to the banks in the amount of $281,359. Upon his release he will be subject to five years of post release supervision.

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@aimmedianetwork.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.