Former University of Wisconsin football star Jack Ikegwuonu and his twin brother, arrested last week after an armed robbery in Middleton, were charged in federal court Tuesday with armed robbery and gun possession for one of a string of robberies last month at five local businesses.

Ikegwuonu and his brother, William, both 28, will appear in U.S. District Court on Wednesday to face charges that they robbed Klinke Cleaners, 1003 N. Gammon Road in Middleton, on Nov. 26. Police had affixed a GPS tracking device to Jack Ikegwuonu’s SUV and arrested them a short time later.

According to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in federal court, both confessed to all five robberies and said they used the money to buy heroin.

The two appeared Tuesday in Dane County Circuit Court to face retail theft charges. According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, they stole items, mainly electronics, at Wal-Mart stores in Madison and Sun Prairie between Sept. 2 and Oct. 29.

Both face two counts of misdemeanor retail theft and one count of felony retail theft, while William Ikegwuonu faces an additional charge of misdemeanor retail theft.

Under federal law, the Ikegwuonus face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison if convicted of possessing a firearm during a crime of violence, to be served consecutively to the sentence for an underlying robbery conviction.

U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil said the brothers for now are charged for only one robbery out of the five, but the case will be taken to a grand jury, which could indict the brothers for all five armed robberies.

If indicted on additional gun possession and robbery charges, they would face an additional mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for each gun possession conviction, served consecutively to any other sentences.

Jack Ikegwuonu was a cornerback for the Badgers from 2005 to 2007 and was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2008. He was active for one regular-season NFL game during the 2009 season.

William played football at Northern Illinois. Both were standout athletes at Madison Memorial High School.

The affidavit filed in federal court states that after noticing a similarity between four armed robberies in Madison from Nov. 13 to Nov. 21, Madison police Detective James Grann received authorization to place a GPS tracking device on a Dodge Durango believed to have been driven by the suspects.

After the Klinke robbery on Nov. 26, Grann wrote, police looked up the location of the Durango and found that it was near the location of the robbery.

A silver revolver was found in the Durango after police stopped it near University and Randall avenues.

“Jack Ikegwuonu told law enforcement that he and his brother have problems with heroin, admitted to his and his brother’s involvement in four recent robberies in Madison and admitted to his and his brother’s involvement in the Klinke Cleaners robbery in Middleton earlier that day,” Grann wrote.

Jack Ikegwuonu told police he went inside the businesses while his brother drove during four of the five robberies. Their roles were reversed for one of them, the affidavit states.

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