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SACRAMENTO-United States Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced today that VALERIE HARRIS, 50, of Rocklin, California was arraigned in federal court, charged with a single count of armed bank robbery and six counts of bank fraud. The case was scheduled for further proceedings before U.S. District Court Judge Frank C. Damrell, Jr. at 10 a.m. on March 17, 2008.

The case is being investigated by the Sacramento Violent Crimes Task Force, which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Roseville Police Department, and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. During the early stages of the investigation, the task force dubbed the perpetrator “the grandma bank robber” because surveillance photos depicted the robber to be between her early 50s to early 60s.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rodriguez, who is prosecuting the case, HARRIS was arrested on December 18, 2007, after the FBI and its Sacramento Violent Crimes Task Force uncovered information regarding HARRIS’s attempt to pay a debt with alleged stolen bank funds. On the day of HARRIS’s arrest, the FBI and its task force executed a federal search warrant on HARRIS’s residence in Rocklin. A “Colt 454 Cowboy Style Pistol” -alleged to be used and carried by HARRIS during commission of the bank robbery-was seized at the time of her arrest. HARRIS is alleged to have robbed the U.S. Bank located inside of a Safeway grocery store at 989 Sunrise Avenue, Roseville, California at approx. 6:00 p.m. on December 12, 2007. The bank fraud charges are based on the FBI investigation into HARRIS’s conduct prior to her alleged armed bank robbery.

If convicted of the armed bank robbery offense, HARRIS faces up to 25 years in federal prison. For each bank fraud charge, HARRIS faces up to 30 years federal prison. Penalties for each count also include up to five years of supervised release, and a fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables and any applicable statutory sentencing factors.

The charges are only allegations and the defendant(s) is(are) presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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