A man dubbed the “AK-47 bandit,” suspected of shooting and wounding a Chino police officer in 2012 and was  a suspect in several bank robberies in five states, was sentenced Wednedsay to 35 years in prison for robbing a Nebraska City bank of $90,000 in 2014.

Richard Gathercole, 41,  pled guilty in March.

The Roundup, Montana resident was arrested June 20, 2017, ending a five-anda-half-year search for the suspect, who was wanted for robbing the California Bank and Trust at 5455 Riverside Drive in 2012. 

During that robbery, the suspect allegedly shot six rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle on Chino Police Officer Mike Ford, who was struck once in the leg. 

Officer Ford, who recovered and returned to work several months later, drove himself to Chino Valley Medical Center after he was shot.

Investigators suspected the same man was responsible for robberies in Mason City, Iowa on July 28, 2015, in Sacramento on March 9, 2012, in Vacaville, California on May 12, 2012, in North Bend, Washington on July 6, 2012, in Rexburg, Idaho on Nov. 12, 2012, and Nebraska City, Nebraska on Aug. 22, 2014.

Mr. Gathercole was arrested after allegedly getting into a gun battle with a Kansas State trooper after a traffic stop, according to the Musselshell County Sheriff’s Department.

At the time of his arrest, the suspect was driving a stolen truck.

Investigators found several explosive devices inside his Montana home, including several improvised explosive devices that prompted a visit from the Billings, Montana police department bomb squad.

Chino Police Chief Karen Comstock said earlier this year that charges won’t be filed for each case, but were consolidated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in hopes the suspect accepted a plea bargain for all of his crimes, which he did. 

A man dubbed the “AK-47 bandit,” suspected of shooting and wounding a Chino police officer in 2012 and was  a suspect in several bank robberies in five states, was sentenced Wednedsay to 35 years in prison for robbing a Nebraska City bank of $90,000 in 2014.

Richard Gathercole, 41,  pled guilty in March.

The Roundup, Montana resident was arrested June 20, 2017, ending a five-anda-half-year search for the suspect, who was wanted for robbing the California Bank and Trust at 5455 Riverside Drive in 2012. 

During that robbery, the suspect allegedly shot six rounds from an AK-47 assault rifle on Chino Police Officer Mike Ford, who was struck once in the leg. 

Officer Ford, who recovered and returned to work several months later, drove himself to Chino Valley Medical Center after he was shot.

Investigators suspected the same man was responsible for robberies in Mason City, Iowa on July 28, 2015, in Sacramento on March 9, 2012, in Vacaville, California on May 12, 2012, in North Bend, Washington on July 6, 2012, in Rexburg, Idaho on Nov. 12, 2012, and Nebraska City, Nebraska on Aug. 22, 2014.

Mr. Gathercole was arrested after allegedly getting into a gun battle with a Kansas State trooper after a traffic stop, according to the Musselshell County Sheriff’s Department.

At the time of his arrest, the suspect was driving a stolen truck.

Investigators found several explosive devices inside his Montana home, including several improvised explosive devices that prompted a visit from the Billings, Montana police department bomb squad.

Chino Police Chief Karen Comstock said earlier this year that charges won’t be filed for each case, but were consolidated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in hopes the suspect accepted a plea bargain for all of his crimes, which he did. 

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