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Published On: Fri, May 31st, 2019

Larry Covington Sentenced to 15 Years for Assaulting a Federal Officer

On May 29, 2019, Larry Steven Covington Jr., 40, of Knoxville, Tennessee, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas W. Phillips, Senior U.S. District Court Judge, to serve 180 months in federal prison.  Covington pleaded guilty on May 28, 2019, to an information charging him with assault upon a federal officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and failure to surrender for service of sentence.

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According to the plea agreement on file with U.S. District Court, in April 2018, Covington was sentenced in U.S. District Court to serve 46 months in federal prison. He was released on bond pending designation by the federal Bureau of Prison (BOP).  A few days after his sentencing hearing, he received a letter from BOP instructing him to report to FCI Berkley in West Virginia on May 2, 2018.  Covington signed the letter at the U.S. Marshals Service acknowledging his report date. However, on May 2, 2018, Covington failed to report to FCI Berkley and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

On July 2, 2018, Covington and his girlfriend, Pennie Smith, drove to the U.S. Post Office on Weisgarber Road in Knoxville to pick up a package.  Smith had been harboring Covington since he failed to report to BOP custody.  Deputy U.S. Marshals had previously received a tip that Covington would be at the post office and were surveilling the parking.  Smith went into the post office to retrieve the package while Covington waited in the vehicle.  Deputy U.S. Marshals surrounded the vehicle, identified themselves as law enforcement, and ordered Covington out of the car.  Instead of exiting, Covington drove forward onto the sidewalk in an attempt to get away.  A Deputy U.S. Marshal blocking the sidewalk was forced to jump out of the direct line of the vehicle to avoid being struck.   Covington fled in the vehicle and drove at speeds close to 100 mph until he reached his mother’s neighborhood and fled to a friend’s house who allowed him to hide in his crawl space.  Covington was ultimately located in the crawl space by law enforcement and taken into custody.  A search of his vehicle turned up three guns and ammunition.

This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Marshal Service and FBI.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Kolman represented the United States in court proceedings.

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