COLUMBUS (WCMH)–A search spanning more than three years is over, according to the FBI. The organization says 27-year-old Ikechi Emeaghara is the notorious central Ohio bank robber dubbed the “Buckeye Bandit.”
Emeaghara has been charged with one count of armed bank robbery that carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. Columbus Police shot and arrested Emeaghara after they say he brandished a gun while robbing the Key Bank on Frantz Rd. in late October.
Southern District of Ohio U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman says, “This was a very serious situation and I commend law enforcement for doing a great investigation and being able to safely arrest the defendant.”
Glassman says more charges against Emeaghara are possible as a task force, including Franklin and Delaware County law enforcement officials, continues to review evidence.
“This is a task force that has been investigating the activities of a robber close to three years and I believe there will be more evidence we will be looking through,” Glassman said.
An FBI spokesperson says the Buckeye Bandit was responsible for as many as 30 bank robberies in the region.
Defense Attorney Byron Potts was tight-lipped about details surrounding his client. Potts would not say where Emeaghara grew up.
NBC4 has learned Ikechi Emeaghara is a single father. He grew up in Westerville and graduated from Westerville North High School less than ten years ago. The high school football standout went on to play college football at the University of Findlay before later returning to the Columbus area.
Potts says Emeaghara’s family is concerned, and he did have supporters in the courtroom.
“He did have people here that are concerned about him,” Potts said. “It’s not like he is just an individual solely out here by himself. He does have family here.”
One source close to the family said he was shocked to learn about Emeaghara’s connection to all these robberies. His brother and sister did not respond to interview requests.