‘Fast Eddie’ is going back to England

Edward John Maher, the Ozark, Mo. cable installer suspected in a decades-old British armored van theft, has agreed to be deported to England, according to federal court records filed Friday.

Immediately after the filing, a federal judge in Springfield, Mo., held a brief hearing and ordered Maher handed over to immigration authorities to begin the deportation process.

“The defendant has agreed to be formally deported from the United States, and an immigration judge has ordered the defendant’s deportation,” the motion read.

Maher, nicknamed “Fast Eddie” by the British media, is wanted in the United Kingdom in the 1993 theft of almost $1.6 million from an armored van during a bank delivery.

Maher, who worked for the security company, vanished with the van while his partner was inside the bank.

After that, he lived in the United States under his brother’s name and worked as a cable installer.

Authorities arrested Maher in February after his daughter-in-law learned that he was wanted in the theft. Federal authorities charged him with being an illegal alien in possession of firearms, two pistols and two rifles.

A federal grand jury later added charges of document fraud and identity theft. Authorities contended that Maher illegally used a Social Security card for employment verification and used a Missouri driver’s license issued in his brother’s name.

Those charges will remain in place, said Don Ledford, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas City.

“There is no change in the status of the federal indictment against Maher,” Ledford said.

Ledford added that information about Maher’s upcoming return to Great Britain, including the schedule and route, generally is closely held by immigration authorities and would not be released publicly.

Although British authorities soon will have Maher in custody, they probably never will recover the money lost in the robbery. Springfield federal court records show that Maher filed for bankruptcy in 2010. He reported $34,350 in bills and $3,655 in assets.

Maher has acknowledged to federal agents that he used false identification in the United States “because he was wanted for a crime that he committed in England,” according to federal court records.