‘AK-47 bandit’ suspect charged in North Bend bank robbery

This undated booking photo provided by the FBI shows Richard Gathercole of Roundup, Mont. Stephen Woolery, special agent in charge of the FBI in Los Angeles, said Tuesday, June 27, 2017, that Gathercole was arrested last week in Lexington, Neb., and that he is suspected to be a bank robber dubbed "the AK-47 bandit" by the FBI. (FBI)

SEATTLE — A federal grand jury has brought the first bank robbery and weapons charges against a man the FBI says is the “AK-47 bandit” who held up banks in five states.

The indictment filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Seattle accuses 39-year-old Richard Gathercole of Roundup, Montana, of using an AK-47 rifle to steal $15,000 in North Bend, Washington, in 2012.

That is one of at least six banks Gathercole is suspected of robbing since 2012.

Gathercole is being held in Lexington, Nebraska, on unrelated charges that he fired on a Kansas state trooper who was trying to pull him over last month.

FBI agents found seven homemade bombs in a raid of his Montana home.

It is not clear whether Gathercole has hired an attorney for the federal case.