“AK-47 bandit,” accused of robbing banks in Idaho and other states, makes plea deal

Posted at 10:15 AM, Mar 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-12 12:15:52-04

LINCOLN, NEB. — A Montana man dubbed the “AK-47 bandit” -- and accused of holding up banks in several states, including Idaho -- has pleaded guilty to robbing a bank in Nebraska.

Richard Gathercole could face up to 35 years in prison after admitting in federal court on Monday that he used an AK-47 while robbing a Nebraska City bank in 2014. The 40-year-old Gathercole also pleaded guilty to a 2017 carjacking that led to his arrest.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lesley Woods says the plea deal stipulates that Gathercole won't be prosecuted by other jurisdictions for other violent crimes, including the shooting of a Kansas state trooper in 2017 and bank robberies in California, Idaho, Iowa and Washington state.

Some of the crimes had passed the five-year federal statute of limitations.

Gathercole is scheduled to be sentenced in June.

(story by Associated Press)
(photo courtesy: Chino Police Department)