Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Bubba Tooth Bandit

John Stanley checks out some Cuban cigars

You think you know someone.
John Stanley didn't hide that he was a convicted thief, but I believed him when he told me he'd turned his life around.
We met on a bus tour to Cuban tobacco country during the summer of 2000. Stanley was a fascinating character. He described a life of crime, his years on the run, his arrest and his time in prison.

Strolling next to a tobacco field in western Cuba

After getting out of jail, Stanley tried to reinvent himself as an author and crime consultant in Dallas. But I guess it didn't stick.
In 2004, I was shocked to learn that Stanley had been accused of robbing a bank in Kansas City, Mo. He was sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison. I wrote about the case in a May 2009 post and got this comment from a reader:
Just read your blog after googling "John Stanley". He is my father and last I researched, as you mentioned, he had been arrested and convicted. He is an entertaining man, isn't he? I met him about 12 years ago in Dallas and haven't heard from him since. I hope he is well.
Then today I found out Stanley has just been convicted of armed robbery in three other bank heists and told authorities had robbed a total of 34 banks in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Kansas City and other locations.
I'm not so sure I believe he pulled off 34 heists. That's a lot of banks and most bank robbers are caught. But who knows? Maybe it's true.
Anyway, a blogger named MissKO told me about Stanley's Sept. 16 conviction in U.S. federal court in Tulsa, Okla. Her message said that Stanley "appeared gratified when an FBI agent told him he had been dubbed 'The Bubba-tooth Bandit,' in response to Stanley's query 'Did I ever get a nickname?'"

Photo credit: News on 6

I dug into the court records to learn more. Here are details on the three Tulsa robberies:

Bank of Oklahoma

On March 2, 2004, between about 9:27 am and 9:32 am, an older white male wearing a ball cap and dark glasses was waiting in line at the Bank of Oklahoma, 320 South Boston, Tulsa, OK. He was described as a white male in his late 50s, between about 5' 6" and 5' 8", about 185 pounds, wearing a black silk waist coat, a black baseball cap with “Rose Bowl Pasadena” on it, and large yellow teeth.
The man became impatient and pushed another customer out of the way as that customer was leaving the teller window. He then went up to the teller at the window, put a generic deposit slip on the counter, and laid a tan satchel on the counter. The man pulled a black pistol out of the satchel and told the teller to “give me all your hundreds”. The teller replied that she was all out of 100s, and pulled open her drawer to show him.
The man then told her to give him the 50s and she did. She then
reached for the 20s, but he said “no 20s, no bait, no dye pack, open your second drawer and give me your hundreds”. She pulled that drawer open and said she had no 100s. He tried to lean over the counter to look but couldn't see and became agitated. He again demanded 100s and she pulled out all the money in the drawer and showed she had no 100s. The robber
became upset which caused the teller to become fearful for her life. The robber took the money from her hand and told her to not call the police until he was gone. She said she understood, and he repeated his warning, then he left the bank. No one saw his getaway.
The loss was $3,600.

Tulsa National Bank

On March 2, 2004, between about 11:30 am and 11:38 am, an older white male, about 5' 6", 220 pounds, between 50-60 years old, with a full beard, wearing a black leather driver type hat and dark glasses entered the Tulsa National Bank at 7120 South Lewis, and went directly to a teller line. He laid a folder on the counter, pulled out a black semi-automatic pistol and pointed it at the teller. The robber demanded 50s and 100s, and specified “no 20s, no bait bills, and no dye packs”, and the teller gave him all her cash. The loss was approximately $10,435. The robber left the building, but no one saw how he got away.

BANCFIRST

On April 14, 2004, at about 10:20 am, an older white male entered BANCFIRST at 7136 South Yale, went to the teller line and approached a lane where there were two tellers. The robber was described as a white male, 5' 8" to 5' 9", 175 pounds, wearing a black ball cap with the logo “Maytag”, a fake-looking dark-colored moustache and fake-looking crooked teeth. The robber also carried a black folding briefcase and a black semiautomatic pistol, which he placed on the teller counter. He asked the teller for all the big bills. The teller gave him some ten dollar bills. The robber then asked her to open her second drawer and the teller complied. There were no “big bills” in that drawer. The robber then moved to the next teller.
At the next teller window, the robber told the teller to hand him all his money and the teller complied. The robber asked if the teller had keys to any other drawers and was told no. The robber said not to say anything until the robber left. The loss was approximately $3,258. No one saw how he got away.

SIG Sauer P-239. Photo credit: Ken Lunde

Federal documents also include a description of Stanley's last bank job, which earned the robber headlines in the category of offbeat news. According to prosecutors:
On June 10, 2004, Defendant John Lawrence Stanley committed a robbery at the Commerce Bank in Kansas City, Mo. He utilized face makeup to conceal his complexion, wore a fake mustache and fake teeth, wore a “golfer’s hat” and carried a large bag. Stanley approached a teller, pointed a gun at her, and requested the teller’s “100's, 50's and 20's.” To avoid detection, the Defendant utilized what tellers reported was a police radio with an earpiece. He left the bank and police were called.
Stanley was apprehended shortly thereafter by Kansas City police who found his vehicle, and Defendant was seated in the vehicle. Officers approached the vehicle and observed Defendant with his fake mustache “half on, half off,” and a large amount of cash in his lap. Several items utilized in the robbery were found inside Defendant’s car and on his person, and included the U.S. Currency taken from Commerce Bank, two hats, two briefcases, two scanners, numerous drivers’ licenses, two badges, Texas and Kansas license plates, and sunglasses. Inside the briefcases were rolls of film footage of the Commerce
Bank and binoculars.
Evidence presented at trial included:
* Stanley's SIG Sauer P-239 .40 caliber pistol
* fake teeth
* six tubes of mascara
* face powder
* Krazy glue
* two gold badges - one reading "Congressional Advisory Committee," the other, "Criminal Justice Consultant"
* a press badge identifying Stanley as sports editor for La Prensa newspaper in Austin, Texas
Sentencing is set for Dec. 21 before Judge James H. Payne. He's a Bush nominee accused of owning stock in companies involved in lawsuits brought before him, according to Salon magazine. But that's another story.

Links:
Stanley indictment
Stanley indictment, revised
Stanley verdict
Government trial brief which contains details of the accusations against Stanley
Stanley represented himself at trial. Here and here are examples of his handwritten court documents found in federal files.
Government witness list

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