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Press Release

Serial Armed Robber Sentenced To Five And A Half Years In Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Defendant admitted stealing from 3 banks and a gas station in a month-long robbery spree.

SAN FRANCISCO – Harwood Francis McCovey was sentenced today to 66 months in prison for committing multiple armed robberies, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John Bennett.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Vince Chhabria, United States District Judge.  

McCovey, 34, of Hoopa, Calif., pleaded guilty to the robberies on October 16, 2018.  According to his plea agreement, in the summer of 2016, McCovey robbed the following three banks and gas station, all while using a dangerous weapon:  

  • On July 20, 2016, McCovey robbed a bank in Eureka.  
  • On July 27, 2016, McCovey robbed a credit union in Eureka.
  • On July 31, 2016, McCovey robbed a gas station in McKinleyville and absconded with money, cigarettes, and lighters. 
  • On August 4, 2016, McCovey returned to the credit union in Eureka that he had robbed on July 27, 2016, and robbed it again. 
  • On August 12, 2016, McCovey robbed a bank in Fortuna.


A federal grand jury indicted McCovey on March 27, 2018, charging him 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).  McCovey pleaded guilty to all five counts.  

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chhabria ordered McCovey to serve 5 years of supervised release and to pay $38,486.75 in restitution.  McCovey has been in custody since his arrest and will begin serving his sentence immediately.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sailaja Paidipaty 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. 

Updated February 12, 2019

Violent Crime