Oso Blanco is an indigenous activist originally serving 80 years in prison for a series of bank expropriations throughout the southwest in 1998-1999. In 2016, 25 years were taken off his sentence when he won his Johnson v. U.S. appeal. He is part of the wolf clan Cherokee/Choctaw, raised in New Mexico. His indigenous name is Oso Blanco or Yona Unega in Cherokee. He was known to the FBI as 'Robin the Hood' because he informed the bank tellers he was expropriating funds to assist the poor and indigenous people fighting for independence in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.
On August 13, 1999, two FBI agents investigating the series of bank expropriations came to Chubbuck's apartment. The agents were interviewing Chubbuck's wife when he entered. A shootout between the agents and Chubbuck erupted and he was able to flee. During the shootout no one was injured.
Chubbuck was found a little while later in an adjacent apartment with family members. The FBI surrounded the apartment and within a half hour, Chubbuck allowed the family members to leave unharmed. Chubbuck, however, bashed through the walls in the building to slip into adjacent apartments in an effort to escape. He went through two or three apartments before emerging more than two hours later. Chubbuck tried to run but captured after being shot with several bean bags and attacked by a police dog.
He was charged with the robbery of 13 banks and the attempted robbery of a fourteenth. In addition to the robberies, he was also charged with two counts of assaulting a peace officer, two counts of possessing and discharging a firearm, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, all in connection the standoff.
On December 21, 2000, Oso Blanco was being transported by the US Marshall's service from Albuquerque Federal Court to Santa Fe County Jail, when, after unlocking his handcuffs, kicked out the back window of the prison transport van. During his escape, Chubbuck continued to expropriate funds to send to Chiapas, Mexico. Authorities believe he expropriated funds from about eight banks after his self-liberation. He was placed on the "15 most wanted" fugitive list.
In February 2001, Chubbuck was recaptured after sustaining a gunshot wound to his chest, shot by Albuquerque police.
In the end, Chubbuck was accused of expropriating funds from about 20-22 banks. He was convicted on 14 of those charges. It is estimated that he expropriated at least $165,000.
Robin the Hood: the Oso Blanco Zine
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