News and Press Releases

Defendant Blamed Robbery Spree on Drug Debts, Heroin Addiction

July 10, 2009

DAVID E. HAYES, 25, of Snohomish County, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 36 months in prison and three years of supervised release for Bank Robbery in connection with a spree of robberies from December 2008, until his arrest on January 25, 2009. At sentencing U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour noted the large number of HAYES family members in the courtroom and said, “I hope you realize how much you have let them down.” Judge Coughenour recommended that HAYES be enrolled in the Bureau of Prisons intensive drug treatment program.

In his plea agreement dated March 17, 2009, HAYES admitted he committed four bank robberies and he agreed to pay restitution to two espresso stands that he robbed as part of his crime spree. Records filed in the case indicate HAYES criminal activity began Christmas Eve 2008, when he stole a car that was idling outside a Mount Vernon home. The next morning, HAYES robbed Cowgirl Espresso in Everett, while driving the stolen car. HAYES implied he had a weapon and demanded all the cash from the stand. On December 28, 2008, HAYES robbed a U.S. Bank branch in Marysville. On January 14, 2009, HAYES robbed the U.S. Bank branch on Aurora Avenue North in Seattle. On January 16, 2009, HAYES robbed a Bank of America branch in Arlington. And on January 22, 2009, HAYES robbed a Washington Mutual branch in Bothell. Also on January 22, 2009, HAYES robbed Morgan’s Espresso in Mount Vernon, Washington. In all the robberies HAYES indicated to his victims via note or his statement that he was armed with a weapon. In his plea agreement HAYES agreed to pay $4,184.00 in restitution to the banks and the espresso stands, even though the espresso stand robberies are not charged in the federal case.

HAYES was identified as the robber after his picture was published in a local newspaper, and a person who recognized him called police. HAYES was located and arrested on January 25, 2009, in Seattle. After his arrest HAYES told officers that he committed the robberies to pay debts he owed in connection with his serious heroin addiction. HAYES said he owed money to the drug dealers, and feared for his safety. HAYES claimed he robbed the espresso stands to get money for gas so he could drive to Seattle to buy heroin.

In asking for a sentence at the low end of the guidelines range, Assistant United States Attorney Mike Dion expressed hope that the sentence will help HAYES get his drug addiction under control. “David Hayes is a sad case. After years of drug addiction and petty crime, he has graduated to federal-level criminal activity. Desperate for drug money, Hayes robbed four banks and two coffee stands. Hayes may not be a violent man, but the victims of his robberies did not know that,” Mr. Dion wrote to the court.

The case was investigated by the FBI Puget Sound Violent Crimes Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mike Dion.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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