DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Ohio

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Benjamin C. Glassman
, United States Attorney
Contact: Jenniefer Thornton

'Buckeye Bandit' Pleads Guilty to 8 Armed Robberies

COLUMBUS – Ikechi W. Emeaghara, 27, of Columbus, pled guilty today to eight counts of armed bank robbery. Emeaghara is the armed robber dubbed as the “Buckeye Bandit” by law enforcement.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Trevor Velinor, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Office; Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs; Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin; Delaware County Sheriff Russell L. Martin; Ohio State University Police Chief Craig Stone; Worthington Police Chief Jerry L. Strait, Jr.; Upper Arlington Police Chief Tracy Hahn and Gahanna Police Chief Dennis Murphy announced the guilty pleas entered today.

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

  • October 31, 2013 at the Wesbanco Bank on South Stygler Road in Gahanna
  • November 30, 2013 at the Cooper State Bank on West 5th Avenue in Columbus
  • December 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*
  • January 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
  • October 21, 2016 at the Key Bank on Frantz Road in Columbus (original indictment)

* Denotes armed robbery charges that also include forcing one or more persons to accompany him within the bank.

Emeaghara was indicted by the federal grand jury in initial and superseding indictments in November and December 2016.

Armed bank robbery is a crime punishable by up to 25 years in prison. Armed robbery including forcing one or more persons to accompany the defendant without their consent is punishable by a mandatory minimum 10 year prison term, with a possible 25 year maximum.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative investigation by law enforcement and Deputy Criminal Chief Gary L. Spartis and Assistant U.S. Attorney Salvador A. Dominguez, who are prosecuting the case.

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Columbus Field Division