A federal judge in Missouri has ruled that a grand jury will hear evidence in the case of a British man accused of robbing an armored car in England nearly 20 years ago.
Edward Maher, suspected of stealing an armored car containing the equivalent of about $1.5 million in England in 1993, has been living in the United States for several years. He was arrested Feb. 8 after authorities received a tip that he was living under his brother’s name and working as a cable technician in the town of Ozark, about 160 miles southwest of Kansas City.
Maher, dubbed “Fast Eddie” in news reports after the armored-car theft, is accused in England of driving off in the armored car while a fellow security guard was making a delivery to a bank. The van was later abandoned, and the money – 50 bags containing coins and notes worth 1 million pounds – was missing.
Maher, 56, has been charged in a U.S. federal complaint with being an illegal immigrant with a firearm.
He appeared at a five-minute preliminary hearing Wednesday in Springfield on the weapons charge with his public defender, David Mercer, according to a court document. Mercer declined comment when reached by telephone after the hearing.
U.S. District Judge James C. England found probable cause for the weapons charge against Maher, meaning there was enough evidence to proceed with the case. Also during the hearing, the judge ordered that a grand jury consider the federal charge, which is the expected next step in a federal case, authorities said.
The grand jury will hear the evidence against Maher and possibly decide if additional charges are warranted. It’s unclear when or a where a federal grand jury will meet to hear the case.
Maher’s case in the U.S. could avoid going to the grand jury if he pleads guilty to the charge or if he is extradited to England before the grand jury meets, federal officials said.