Did you ever heard about Byron Shane of Chubbuck...aka ..Oso Blanco..?
Here is an amazing story about a Native Warrior who let his heart speak and is serving 80 years in prison now.
Byron is a wolf clan Cherokee/Choctaw raised in New Mexico, his Indian name is Oso Blanco and he became known by the authorities as “Robin the Hood” after the FBI and local gang unit APD officers learned from a CI that Oso Blanco was robbing banks to send thousands of dollars with of supplies to the Zapatista Rebels of Chiapas on a regular basis during 1998 and 1999.
Chubbuck is now serving 80 years at the US Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, for bank rob- bery, aggravated assault on the FBI, escape and firearms charges. Byron engaged federal agents in a gun battle on August 13th 1999 at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Although Chubbuck escaped, he was arrested later that day and sentenced to time in New Mexico’s state Penitentiary. After serving just over a year in New Mexico, he escaped from a prison transport van and almost immediately began robbing banks. He was recaptured a short time later. Byron never used a gun in any bank robbery, but he has a long history of living by the gun and will not hesitate to use it on the agents of repression or the occupiers of Atzlan whom force false laws on the true people of this land. Byron is not asking for monetary support, he’s only asking that people become aware of indigenous people’s issues. In an interview Oso Blanco claimed: “I am still able to hold my head up high and feel the gratification for my work in a world where money, power and destructive industries are regarded far above humanity, indigenous and impoverished peoples and cultures. I cannot help that I got deeply into my work….”
See latest news, urgent: http://www.osoblanco.org/
A Few words from Byron:
I guess when I get down to basic hope- I just want people to be free- and realize and discover the powerful elements of the Great Creator-in all things living. Free from destructive energy sources. Free from political religious formats of control. Free from lies. Free from toxic chemicals. Free from fast food. Free from sin. Free from the masters of political sheep control. Free from gasoline. Free from coal.
Free from TV and all the tech junk. Free from make up. Free from drugs. Free from alcohol. From all the things we humans have locked our selves in… Help the sick-the poor-the old-the handicapped.
I myself come from a violent wild west background and if I can find a loop (hope) hole to compassion then a lot of people can learn to think positive and take effective action.
An article on Byron
Thank you Joline Gutierrez Krueger from The Albuquerque Tribune that you gave me your permission to publish your article "Utter Chubbuck" here on my website:
For the first time since his Albuquerque capture, the bandit known as Robin the Hood speaks out. About his respect for women. About those "minor" bank robberies. About earmarking drug profits for the poor people of Chiapas. And Byron Shane Chubbuck makes this vow: "I can't be stopped forever."
Two hours after escaping from a prison transport van, Byron Shane Chubbuck was relaxing in a Motel 6, knocking back a beer, eating Burger King and watching TV coverage of the havoc he had wrought.
And smiling a lot.
It was all good, he said, except for the hamburger. "I told my people, `We are New Mexicans. It's Blake's Lota Burger from now on,'" he said. "We've got to support our home state burger joint."
Loyalty, even for a local sandwich, is big with Chubbuck, whose bold bank robbery style and quixotic tales of aiding the poor with his ill-gotten gains earned him the name Robin the Hood - and 40 years in federal prison.
Come Oct. 15, when Chubbuck is expected to be sentenced on addi- tional charges stemming from that van escape last December, the 34-year-old bad boy of bank robberies could face an additional 40 years. Or more.
But Robin the Hood will not go quietly. And, if he has his way, not for so long. "I can't be stopped forever," Chubbuck said recently in phone interviews and letters from his cell at the U.S. Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado.
"I will not be broken in my spirit of determination and will power. And if I were to escape again I'll naturally be polite doing it, never hurting anyone, while smacking the federal government across their face of hypocrisy."
For the first time since he aired his jailhouse blues and his bravura last February on an Albuquerque radio rock station - an interview that ultimately led to his capture two days later - Chubbuck is speaking out about what he did while on the run, his reasons for robbing banks and the bullet that brought him down.
"My life story is very full, long and complex," he said. "I only wish someone would take an interest in the real story revolving around these 20 minor bank robberies and my reasons."
Somewhere therein lies the truth, big and bold like Chubbuck himself.
You either hate Byron Shane Chubbuck or you love him. And if you love him you might hate that you do. Or you might feel guilty. Or duped.
"It was like, oh, my God, is this the same cute guy I knew?" said Carolyn Butterfield, an old girlfriend of Chubbuck's from his mid -1980s Colorado days when he sported Marlon Brando leather and called himself a solo poet/sing-songwriter/artist. "If you meet him, you're instantly charmed," she said. "There's a charisma about him, a magnetism."
Women staffers at Albuquerque's Project Share, which feeds the poor, had also been charmed by the handsome stranger who arrived on their doorstep in 1997 as a federal parolee needing to do community service. They also were suspicious.
"He was too good to be true," said one woman there, who agreed to allow The Tribune to use the Project Share name but not her own, saying the situation was too sensitive for her to be connected so publicly to Chubbuck. "You could not have met a nicer guy. He was so helpful to us here, a total workhorse. People loved him here."
Chubbuck, whom they knew as "Blanco," was the first to shake a hand, stock a shelf or serve a homeless person, she said. He knew to ingratiate himself with the staff, particularly the single women, sometimes taking 25 or more of them to elaborate lunches at Romano's Macaroni Grill. "Everything was big with him," she said. "He could never do just a little. He had to do it huge. "When bread or paper supplies dwindled, a massive donation of the needed goods would suddenly arrive.
"He'd just say he knew some people and boom, there it was," she said. "We joked that he probably was in the Mafia." Chubbuck told them only that he was "connected."
While he was serving the hungry at Project Share, Chubbuck was also serving as jefe and social conscience of a local gang. "He'd tell us, `Just because you're in a gang doesn't mean you're bad,'" Brew Town Chris Perez said. "He always told us to be good examples, do positive things, help old people and like that. He'd do it, too. If he saw some homeless guy on the street begging for a dollar he'd give them $100."
In turn, Chubbuck said he found his brothers, his carnales, men and boys who would lay down their lives for him and the causes he said he championed. Siempre con honor, he told them. Always with honor. "When I found my brothers I was granted a chance to use my creative ideas to instill in the hearts of gangsters passion for a cause, compassion for the desperate and slick ways to make more money with the money we were rounding up," Chubbuck said.
Those slick ways would become his claim to fame. And his demise.
Chubbuck said he never feared robbing a bank. "After I was past the first door, it was too late to turn back," he said. He said he doesn't remember how many banks he has hit but notes that Albuquerque isn't the only place he has plied his nefarious trade. "I can tell you the FBI knows about one in Denver and some in Dallas," he said.
Chubbuck insists he robbed his first bank to help pay off a drug debt for a relative. The others, he said, paid for food and supplies for the indigenous people of the Mexican state of Chiapas.
Chubbuck said he was in Mexico around 1998 looking to score two drums of ephedrin for making methamphetamine - the same activity that had gotten him sent to prison five years before - when he decided to pay a visit to a woman whose card he had kept since 1997 when he had seen her at a protest rally in Downtown Albuquerque.
The woman was in Guatemala City caring for impoverished and broken children - Guatemala street children. "It touched my heart," he said. "It made me want to be like her, help people like she did. "Chubbuck said he gave her $3,000. "I could only afford to buy one drum after that," he said.
Chubbuck said he began robbing banks, sometimes two a day, never brandishing a gun and always attempting to charm tellers with his polite polish and his handsome swagger and his talk about how the money would help feed starving children.
But Rudy Espinoza, regional security officer for Wells Fargo banks, said Chubbuck was not as winsome as he thought. "I will tell you that his efforts were not without emotional conse- quences. "Espinoza said. Many of the tellers he interviewed after a Chubbuck heist asked to be relocated, retired or sought counseling, he said.
Chubbuck said he purchased marijuana with the bank loot and then sold it, tripling and quadrupling the initial amount. The profits went to the Chiapas cause, he said; the rest went to him. "I'd keep about $10,000 and go help people in my barrio or spoil my wife, "he said.
Robin the Hood's run seemingly ended in August 1999 in a shootout with FBI agents at his Southeast Heights home. He pleaded guilty in October 2000 to the shooting and robbing an unprecedented 14 banks across Albuquerque. He received a 40-year sentence. Two months into it he was gone.
Chubbuck says there was no master plan, no team of accomplices waiting in the wings for him to make his daring escape Dec. 21, 2000, from a prison transport van on its way back to the Santa Fe County Detention Center from a hearing in Albuquerque.
"I didn't go with some diabolical plan," he said. "They're making me out to be some mastermind. I was just desperate. I was getting beat up. I was getting gassed. I had to get out of there, and I had to tell people about the treatment we were getting in jail."
The van was nearing the intersection of Second Street and Monta§o Road Northwest when Chubbuck used a smuggled key to free himself from his handcuffs, waist chains and leg shackles, and kicked out a van window and the steel-bar grate covering it.
"When I first got away from the van I ran to the ¹hood," he said. "I didn't know where I was going."
Chubbuck said he jumped over fences, cutting a hand already bloodied from the van escape. He exploded into the front door of a home in the 200 block of Gene Avenue Northwest, startling Stephanie Angus, 28, and a friend, her mother and her young children. "I said: `Please help me. The cops are trying to kill me,'" he said. "I told her `I need a ride out of the ¹hood right now.' I did not command her to do anything. I asked and pleaded. I have respect for women, and when you're looking at a woman as pretty as Ms. Angus, you better have respect."
Angus, he said, was his angel.
Stephanie Angus said she was terrified. But Chubbuck's charm and honest manner left her with an odd compassion for her captor, she said. "Looking back, it was the scariest experience of my life," Angus said in a recent interview. "But I don't think he was a bad person. I don't think he would hurt anybody."
Chubbuck said Angus and her friend drove him out of the North Valley and the grip of a tightening dragnet. "I almost cried right in front of them because they had been sent by God," he said. "They gave me $20 and a water and Chap Stick. I told them who I was and what I just did and what I'm about, and I asked them to pray for me."
After stays at a Motel 6 in midtown Albuquerque and at another "safe place," Chubbuck said he stole a blue Camaro Z28 with a snowboard inside and drove to El Paso.
"I saw myself in their paper, too," he said - disappointed that, like the Albuquerque media, the El Paso newspaper was running a mug shot of a pudgier, surlier, shaved-head Chubbuck bloody and bitten from an earlier encounter with a police dog.
After crashing the Z28 into a pole, Chubbuck said he made his way on foot for the next four days to Cuidad Juarez and later to Chihuahua, where he had friends. Eventually, he said he settled into a $300,000 home he had been paying off in Juarez. One day he hoped to share the home with his wife, Leticia Antillon, and their two sons, Carlos, 12, and Eduardo, almost 2.
It all might have worked, too, had Chubbuck not returned to Albuquerque and resumed his Robin the Hood ways.
From Jan. 12 to Jan. 30, at least six bank robberies were tied to Chubbuck, two more to his associates.
Chubbuck said he had been forced to leave Mexico and return to Albuquerque after being robbed himself. Thieves broke into the home in Juarez, he said, taking radios, scales, BB guns and $11,000 in cash. "I give them credit," he said. "They were pretty darn smart."
Chubbuck said he returned one last time to retrieve his wife and children. "The plan was to sneak back and get a multiband radio to my wife," he said. When things were ready, I would give her the word and say, `Babe, pack up the truck and the kids, it's time to go.'" But Chubbuck could not sneak back silently.
Realizing and relishing the notion that he was now the hottest news in town, Chubbuck decided to use his notoriety to spread his gospel of aiding the poor, thwarting the government and fingering Santa Fe County Detention Center officials he said had made his incarceration so miserable. He chose as his conduit the unlikely T.J. Trout, long time morning drive-time disc jockey at KZRR-FM (94.1).
Chubbuck wrote Trout several letters and asked fellow gang member James Thompson to send them off. He also spoke with Trout by phone Feb. 5. The conversation was broadcast several times the next day.
But Chubbuck said he hadn't expected Thompson to deliver his letters personally to the radio station and risk being identified.
"I hit the roof when I found out," he said. "I said: `Are you kidding me? Oh, my God.'"
Thompson's image was captured by surveillance videotape at the radio station. Early the next morning, Chubbuck was in custody and in a hospital bed with a bullet wound through his chest, courtesy of the Albuquerque police.
End of the line
Last June, jurors took 35 minutes to reach guilty verdicts against Chubbuck on charges of escape, brandishing a firearm during a violent crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Then they had lunch.
It was an anti-climactic ending to one of the more colorful criminal episodes in recent New Mexico history.
A juror was reported as saying the defense simply rested its case without providing any statements or a version of the events that happened that night.
Chubbuck still fumes over that. He remains angry at his attorney, Gary Mitchell, a longtime and well-respected Ruidoso lawyer who has served as counsel for some of the state's most notorious felons.
"He's a snake, a con man and a sellout," Chubbuck snarls.
He accuses Mitchell of failing to seek a motion for a change of venue, for not seeking a motion to suppress testimony he had given under morphine while hospitalized. And for not having lab tests - fingerprints, DNA, blood - performed that might have proven Chubbuck never touched the Tec-9 semiautomatic weapon Albuquerque police said he aimed at them in the flurry of his Feb. 7 capture.
"The state is not required to dig up exculpatory evidence - that's my lawyer's job," he said. "And he seemed to refuse to accomplish or even try to take it on in order to fight the police claims."
Mitchell, though, said Chubbuck had a hand in every decision.
"Obviously, I did the things I thought were in the best interest of my client after conferring with my client about those," he said. "You don't represent Chubbuck without Chubbuck being totally involved."
Chubbuck could be sentenced next month to up to 40 more years for the three new convictions. Six charges of bank robbery were previously dismissed to streamline the process, prosecutors have said.
Prosecutors have also said they might seek a life sentence under the federal "three strikes" law, which targets repeat offenders.
Mitchell is filing a motion seeking to be fired as Chubbuck's attorney. It is Chubbuck's request. But he won't soon forget his charismatic client.
"Shane's a very interesting character," he said. "If in fact he was robbing banks to give the money to poor people, well, that's a little bit different scenario than somebody robbing banks to feed a drug habit. And you sort of like guys like that. We Americans are like moths to a light bulb when it comes to that kind of stuff."
Letters from strangers, girls mostly, arrive for Chubbuck in prison, a small reminder of the charm he exudes, even from behind bars.
He spends much of his time writing letters, poems, his life story. He makes ceramics. He prays for strength from the Great Creator. He has friends in prison.
He cries that he hasn't seen his sons since he arrived. He rails that he must be imprisoned longer than those who kill.
Already he has been accused of concocting an escape plan, this one involving a helicopter, he said.
He makes no apology for the crimes he has committed, no promise that he wouldn't do it again if given the chance.
"I am still able to hold my head up and feel the gratification for my work in a world where money, power and destructive industry are regarded far above humanity, indigenous and impoverished peoples or cultures," he said. "I cannot help that I got into my work."
Byron Chubbuck, who's Indian name is Oso Blanco, is serving 80 years for expropriating money from banks and sending thousands of dollars to Chiapas Mexico to help fund the Zapatistas and feed indigenous children. Because of his political background he has been subject to horrendous treatment at U.S. Penitentiary Lewisburg which must be stopped!
Arizona Prison Watch members have been informed by the NYC Jericho Movement that Byron Shane Chubbuck #07909051, an institutionalized person in your custody, has been subject to repeated abuse and civil rights violations at the hands of your employees, and is vulnerable to retaliation for complaining about such treatment. As requested by his supporters, we writing in solidarity with many others across the nation to demand a full investigation into Mr. Chubbuck's treatment on November 7, 2009 and to see his assault charge from that day be dropped. We also ask that the June 24, 2009 charges against him be reviewed and dropped. Thats from the letter drafted by Oso's friends; I am sure you are aware of the details of his case. Theyll be helping him go through '"proper BOP channels"with these allegations of abuse. I presume those are the channels fine-tuned by the Prison Litigation Reform Act designed to bog prisoner grievances down so they never meet the threshold for having exhausted prison administrative procedures before proceeding to a lawsuit. Well be working on tossing that thing out this year and making sure prisoners are better protected.
Whats been happening at your prison to our brother is an outrage. If I was a DA I'd see the cutting of Mr. Chubbuck's braid in this context as an outright assault that should be prosecuted, not just an insult to his people and their traditions. It was excessive force - completely unnecessary. It would certainly constitute assault if a prisoner pinned down a guard and snipped a lock of hair from his head, whatever the motive. You should have recognized and responded to that immediately for what it is. I suspect the employee referenced in that incident got a pat on the back, instead, not disciplined or reported to police as a perpetrator of violence against institutionalized persons.
We''ll be paying attention.
If necessary, we'll urge our allies to contact their respective congress members all across the country - about Mr. Chubbucks safety and welfare in your custody, and the well-being of other prisoners. If you throw him into isolation and try to cut him off from us, we''ll lobby to get him featured prominently on the new Solitary Watch News website, and assure that intense media scrutiny is focused back on USP Lewisburg. Even the people who live in your town will be so disturbed by the abuse associated with your institution and the torturous conditions of solitary - that they'll be at your gates holding you accountable, too.
We will expose any effort made to retaliate against Mr. Chubbuck for challenging such gross violations of his civil rights in the meantime. You are the one ultimately responsible for protecting him, and we%u2019ll hold you accountable for what your staff do.
Every bit of information we get from Mr. Chubbuck and his fellow prisoners about their treatment there '- including any trouble they have communicating with the outside world - will contribute to Arizona Prison Watchs letter to Senator Webbs committee on criminal justice reforms as an example of whats wrong with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and hopefully what you''re doing to fix it. The more clear and responsive you are regarding these concerns, the more fairly we can reflect your positions and actions to our members and readers - otherwise we are left to speculate aloud based on what limited view we may have from out here.
As for the allegation that Mr. Chubbuck himself assaulted a guard: we are skeptical about claims of officers who have been "assaulted"by prisoners that they (and usually five other officers) have beaten mercilessly (or tried to scald) while they were handcuffed and shackled. People like that just dont make convincing victims '- they don't even make credible witnesses- We'd like an outside investigation of any such allegations. We suspect those are counter-charges being levied as retaliation and intimidation and perhaps an excuse to restrict Mr. Chubbucks mobility and human contact even more. His friends are quite concerned about the effect this is having on his mental health, understandably.
The law enforcement profession has all sorts of technologies and techniques for controlling and restraining men safely without inflicting excess pain, humiliation, or injury. Granted, prisons cant function without the threat and periodic use of state violence no one would stay there if they didn''t have to. And you have some pretty mean people but not the vast majority of them. If you depend heavily on any of those three elements for your prisoner management practices, you have long since lost "control" of your prison, and your leadership is obsolete. You are engaging in torture, not behavior management. If it becomes apparent thats what''s going on, we'll call you on it and demand that you step down.
We believe that the greater burden of responsibility for restraint when it comes to using violence is on the party with the greatest power to do harm in this case, your guards (especially when they have someone already restrained). Mr. Chubbuck's constitutional status may be as a slave of the state, but you are sworn servants of the people all the people - and we expect better treatment of prisoners in this country than this. Mr. Chubbucks criminalized status and prison sentence doesn't give anyone license to exploit their power over him for sadistic purposes, and Americans dont take to enslaving and abusing Native Americans like we used to. Legislation is going to be changing soon.
In the meantime, if one prisoner is experiencing this kind of abuse, we can only assume that others are at risk as well. It only takes one to trigger a CRIPA investigation, though, and this sounds suspicious enough to me.
Please let us know soon how you''ll be responding to the abuses identified above. Well be waiting to hear back from Oso, too, and expect his mail and other methods of communicating with his community to be reasonably unhindered from now on. Do be mindful that what you do to this man touches his people as well. Neither he nor they stand alone. In fact, you can count us among his people now, too.
We the undersigners want to restore the rights for Oso and that his treatment will be fair and respected,we would like to recieve his mail and outgoing mail in order,please include the copy package form about 19 EAGLE FEATHERS that Oso has to sent out,they are Vanished ever since Jan.5th 2010 to Oso!
thank you for more information feel free to visit or write to him->
Want to support Byron? Write him and pray for him.
NOTE: HE DOES NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS!!
Byron Shane Chubbuck # 07909051 USP LEWISBURG U.S. PENITENTIARY P.O. BOX 1000 LEWISBURG, PA 17837
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