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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Humboldt County Resident Indicted For Alleged Bank Robberies And Hobbs Act Robbery

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal grand jury indicted Harwood Francis McCovey for his alleged role in four bank robberies and the armed robbery of a Shell Gas Station in Humboldt County, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex. G. Tse and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett. 

According to the indictment, in the summer of 2016, McCovey, 33, of Hoopa, Calif., committed four bank robberies and a robbery of a Shell Gas Station.  McCovey is alleged to have used a dangerous weapon in the commission of each robbery.  The alleged robberies occurred on the following dates and locations:

  • July 20, 2016 – Bank in Eureka, CA
  • July 27, 2016 – Credit union in Eureka, CA
  • July 31, 2016 – Shell Gas Station in McKinleyville, CA
  • August 4, 2016 – Credit union in Eureka, CA
  • August 12, 2016 – Bank in Fortuna, CA

In sum, McCovey was charged with four counts of armed bank robbery, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a) and (d), and one count of robbery affecting interstate commerce (Hobbs Act robbery), in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a).  

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of 25 years in prison for each bank robbery and 20 years in prison for the Hobbs Act robbery charge.  Additional fines, forfeitures, restitution, and special assessments also may be imposed.  However, any sentence after conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.   

The defendant currently is in state custody and will be transferred to federal custody to appear on these charges.  A hearing for defendant’s arraignment has not yet been scheduled. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Leonard is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Marina Ponomarchuk. The prosecution is the result of investigations by the Eureka Police Department, the Fortuna Police Department, and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office with support from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Eureka Resident Agency. 

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime
Updated May 30, 2018