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MARCH 2015

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27th March 2015

Gerald Scarfe Illustration from 'The Wall'

America is a melting pot of various races and cultures. These races and cultures are also well represented in her subcultures. Another thing that translates from American culture to the subculture of crime is politics. You wouldn't think so, but it does. This is because human beings are political animals by nature and take politics very seriously. This is true whether it be the Republican Party or the Aryan Brotherhood. Throughout history, politics have been responsible for the murders of famous leaders such as Ghandi, Kennedy, and Jesus. And in America, politics put a Black man in the White House. In a country with America's history on race, this is no small thing.

One of the current hot political issues in the United States of America is immigration. Specifically, the issue of Mexicans that are in this country illegally. Nowhere is this issue more prevalent than right here in the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The present population of federal prisoners hovers somewhere around 220,000. Approximately 60,000 of these individuals are Mexicans who have a current deportation Order lodged against them. In fact, there are so many Hispanics in the feds that all memos that are distributed to the prisoners are done in both English and Spanish, and all announcements that are played over the institution's PA system are first played in English, and then in Spanish. I have been on a recreation yard in the feds when a riot has started and the gun tower began to play a message in Spanish prior to firing their AR-15 machine guns down into the yard. I didn't have to be a Spanish teacher to understand that somebody in a gun tower yelling "PELLIGRO" and "ANDELE" over the PA meant that I should lay my gringo ass flat on the ground, quick-like and in a hurry.

Thirty thousand dollars. That is roughly the amount per year that it costs the American taxpayer to house, clothe, feed, and send a federal prisoner to Cheeseburger Day once a week. While somebody might be able to make a legitimate argument that taxpayers are getting their money's worth buying Jeffrey Patrick Frye's cheeseburgers, that's certainly not the case with everybody back here. Especially a good majority of those 60,000 illegal Mexicans. Yes, some of them sold and trafficked guns and drugs. And some of them belong to cartels; but by and large, the majority of Mexicans that are presently in federal prison are here because they got caught sneaking into the country. A good portion of these individuals were sneaking into America to try and get a job so that they could take care of their family.

The average sentence for the prosecution of Illegal Entry into the United States of America is somewhere around 36 months, depending on the individual's record and how many time they've been nabbed sneaking into the country before. Three years and $90,000 later (at the end of their sentence) they are flown to the Holdover section of USP Atlanta and then sent to one of the deportation joints down in Louisiana or Texas. Then they are flown about 100 miles into Mexico and put on a bus. They used to deport the Mexicans right across the border to Nuevo Laredo, but they found that a lot of them were like homing pigeons and simply made a u-turn and came back across the border. Now they fly them in-country.

I have been told by a couple of Mexican guys that I've known, and who were not too happy about being deported, that it's common for cartel members to be sitting in SUVs with guns at the bus station down in Mexico when they get off the bus. They are there to welcome them home, and then forcefully tell them, "Now get in the truck and let's get back to work."

What inspired me to write this blog is that we are scheduled to receive 40 Mexicans on a bus here today. This is the exact amount of seats on the Gangster Greyhound that they use to ferry us around the country on. The Mexicans that are coming here today are coming from a contract federal prison down in Texas. This joint was taken over by them last month and pretty much torn up and burned to the ground. There were 2800 prisoners there and they rioted because of the quality of healthcare and food there, and also because of the way that they were being treated. This prison is one of several "Contract Facilities" that the Federal Bureau of Prisons houses illegals in throughout the Southern part of the United States for prisoners facing deportation that have sentences of three years or less.

It should prove interesting when these guys show up, because as a demographic, Mexican federal prisoners tend to be political. Nearly all of them ride with a gang or a group. In most fed joints in the system, the Mexicans there require that other Mexicans ride with somebody as a prerequisite to being allowed to walk the yard (live in population). If a Mexican comes from Texas and wants to claim "Independent" status and refuses to ride with somebody, he's going to be beat down and run off.

The average individual reading this blog might wonder why the prison officials would allow this to happen. There's a couple of answers to this. The first answer is, because there are 220,000 federal prisoners, but there are not 220,000 federal guards. The other reason is that while the Federal Bureau of Prisons may decide that we are going to fulfill the sentences that the courts gave us, they do not decide who lives in general population. We decide that. Look at it like a Gangster Homeowners' Association. Nobody wants to live next door to a scumbag, and in the same way that clotheslines are allowed in some neighborhoods while not in others, some criminals are allowed to live in certain prisons, while not in others. At least in a safe and peaceful manner.

Immigration, politics, and illegal immigrants. All part this present ride, and just another brick in the wall that surrounds my life. One that I pulled out for a minute so you could take a peek into my world.

Jeffrey P. Frye
Bank Robber's Blog

20th March 2015

I recently had the opportunity to counsel a fellow Bank Robber who is fresh in the system with a 48 month sentence. His name is Lester, and he's from Georgia, but I had no intention of calling a fellow Bank Robber "Lester," so I nicknamed him Bulldog (after the University of Georgia's mascot). Lester is short and stocky with a backwoods, Olive, Georgia complexion. The kind that you can never really determine whether it came from Italian ancestry or from dirt.

I was standing in the cellblock leaning against a wall the day he came in off the bus. He was wearing a tan jumpsuit, canvas, Blue bo-bo shoes, and he was carrying a bedroll underneath his arm. He looked around the large cellblock with the guys up on the second tier looking down at him, and he had that Deer In The Headlight look. Some of the whiteboys went up and introduced themselves, but I wasn't one of them, because this is the federal pen and there is no fucking welcome wagon here. It's up to everybody to come in here and find their lane...and then stay in it.

Also, I'm an old-school convict in that time has taught me to lay back and watch a person before I even speak to them. Because one thing about human nature is for sure whether you're out there, or back here: You can pretend to be anyone or anything that you want to, but who you really are will eventually come out. As my African American neighbor Slab might say, "Blee dat, nigguh."

After about a week, and after I'd verified that young Lester had a respectable crime and wasn't back here for playing Hide The Pickle with his scout troop, I had the chance to talk to him one morning when he bummed a shot of coffee from me. I was standing in my cell cutting a nature scene out of a magazine to paste in the back of Shorty Morgan's house, when in walked Lester.
After I put a fat scoop of coffee into his cup, I asked him, "How old are you?"
He replied, "23, sir."
I said, "I have pending charges that are older than you." Of course I don't, but I don't get to use this line very often so I went for it. The joke had the desired effect, and Lester laughed and gave me an orthidontically-challenged smile. He had a hole in the front of his grill that was large enough to drive an F-150 through, and I suspected that it was from scrapping in the county jail and not from forgetting to floss.
I asked him, "What's your name and where are you from?"
He replied, "My name is Lester and I'm from Smyrna, Georgia, sir."
I said, "Your name is no longer Lester, Lester. Henceforth, you are known back here as Bulldog."
He let that sink into his red clay for a minute, and then after determining that it was an upgrade, he stuck his chest out a little and started cheesing like Chester Cheetah again.
He said, "Bulldog. Okay." His nose was flat and looked like it could be used as a "Before" photo in a plastic surgery brochure. He looked at me and said, "I like to fight."
I replied, "Well, you're in the right place then. But you don't need the form of Floyd Mayweather back here, just the heart." Then already knowing the answer to the question I was asking, I said, "What are you doing time for?"
He proudly replied, "I robbed the Bank of America in the next town over."
"God bless you," I replied.

Bulldog continued, "But they chased me with a helicopter, and when I got away and went into these woods, they sent a dog in after me...and he bit me." He lifted up his pant leg and showed me an impressive scar that the dog had left on his right calf.
I replied, "Yeah, they like to cheat sometimes. They used GPS to get me, but I held about 40-head of them off for a while and drank beer and made some negotiator earn his money." Bulldog liked this comment and he gave me another grin that was so big I could see his tonsils.

Without being invited, he sat down on my toilet and began to talk. He'd been locked up for 10 months so far, and he had a girlfriend named Crystal who is a stripper. She'd been riding with him for the 10 months so far, but lately, he'd started to worry that she was cheating on him. When he'd been calling her in the morning recently, she hadn't been answering the phone.

I'm just a dumb old Bank Blogger who forgot to wear a mask, but I have learned a few things in my epic criminal career. Near the top of the list of the things that I've learned is that your girlfriend is going to sleep with other people when you get locked up. People have needs and desires, and those needs and desires do not stop...no matter which side of the cell door that you're standing on. I've also been where young Lester Bulldog was at, where I called home and my girl didn't answer. Then having her tell me later on that the battery in her phone had died, or that there was no reception in the area she'd been in when I called. In this particular situation, the lie often feels way more comfortable than the truth, and I remember happily swallowing all of those lines. That is until I finally choked on one of them.

But I didn't want to be the one to tell my new buddy Lester that Crystal was most likely working on a new pole-dance, so I said, "Let me ask you something, Bulldog. Do you know what the difference between and inmate and a convict is?"
He shook his head, and replied, "No, sir."
"When I first came to prison and was an inmate, I used to lay in my cell at night and pray that my girlfriend wouldn't sleep with anybody else. But after I became a convict, I began to pray that whoever she slept with had a decent job so that they could afford to buy me new tennis shoes a couple of times a year." Lester sagely nodded, and pretended to plant this seed of wisdom in his fertile mind. But it wasn't 24 hours later that I passed by the phone as he was yelling, "YOU FUCKING WHORE!!!" into the receiver.
Apparently, seeds don't grow too well in clay.

I introduced him to my amico Don Corleone out on the yard the next day and he gave him some wisdom that way surpassed mine. I was walking laps around the track with The Don when Lester walked up. I said, "Don Corleone, this is Bulldog."
The Don stuck out his hand, and Lester took it and smiled. Then in his deep Georgia drawl, he said, "Nice to meet cha, Mr. Macaroni."
When he smiled, The Don looked at him and said, "Hey, these people will get you some new teeth if you want them." Then he said, "See" and took his partial out that had four teeth or so on it. I just shook my head.

We began to walk together, and I told The Don that Bulldog had a girlfriend named Crystal that he was worried was being unfaithful to him. Don Corleone stopped walking, and turned to face Bulldog. He put his hands out in front of him, and shook them a little as he asked, "Is this Crystal a nun?"
"No, sir."
"Then what do you care who she's fucking, so long as you don't find out about it?" Then before Bulldog could answer, he said, "If they sent Crystal to the slammer for a few years would you become a born-again virgin, or would you fuck somebody else?" Then he yelled, "And be honest!!!"
Bulldog smiled, and said, "You damn right I'd fuck me sumbody else. Probably Crystal's mama. Old girl's a dime piece!"
The Don shrugged, and said, "Well, there you go."

We'd began walking again when Don Corleone decided to toss out another nugget of Wiseguy Wisdom. He said, "Look, kid, pussy is like an apartment. You get to live in it for a while, and then you move out. You don't get to bitch about the previous tenants who were there before you, as long as the apartment's clean and looks okay when you move in."
I threw in, "And as long as there's no squatters!"
The Don said, "Yeah. And no fucking Section 8 tenants. Fuhgettaboutit." We'd walked a few more feet when Don Corleone proclaimed, "I don't know where youse get this idea that we're supposed to screw only one person." Then he stopped and thrust a finger in the air like he was Moses, and proclaimed, "Even the Bible says, "Goeth forth and be fruitful and multiply!"
The Don quoting the Bible? Why not? He's already got a reservation for a Skybox in Hell. But he deiced to come down off Mt. Sinai though and go back to more familiar ground down in the shadow of the valley. He says to Bulldog, "This young bull and this old bull are standing at the top of a hill looking down at a bunch of good looking heifers that are grazing. The young bull says to the old bull, "Look at that good looking cow at the bottom of the hill. Let's run down the hill and fuck her." The old bull though just shakes his head, and says, "Let's walk down the hill and fuck em all."
From The Bible to apartments and bulls. Solomon didn't have this kind of wisdom.

It was hard to top that one, so we just walked on in silence for a minute. Finally The Don says, "Hey, I got a niece that you can write to if you'd like. She's a good girl, so you gotta be a good boy. No funny stuff. Her name is Carla."
Carla Riggamolli. Mamma mia! She's about 300 lbs and has a mustache thicker than the Monopoly man's. He offered to let me write her one time, and after I saw her picture I told him, "Nah, I'm okay. It's only 20 years." But I'd seen him squeeze a couple of lonely hearts and charge guys a book of stamps for her address, only he used some model's picture instead of Carla's. So I knew what was coming.

Bulldog was excited at the prospect of meeting somebody new, and he told The Don, "I promise to be po-lite, sir." Sure enough, the Don started patting his pockets like he was looking for something, and he said, "I musta left my stamps in my cell." Then he turned to Bulldog, and gave him another bite when he said, "You got a book of stamps on you that I can get till later, kid? Hell, we're almost related anyways." Bulldog smiled, and went in his pocket and gave him not one, but TWO books of stamps. The Don promptly took the two books of stamps and ran off in the direction of card game that was going on underneath the pavilion. Lester Bulldog had just purchased himself one 300 lb Italian girl with a mustache for approximately $14.00.

Welcome to prison, Lester.

Jeffrey P. Frye
Bank Robber's Blog

17th March 2015

Here's to happy launches, and
To Irish poets with paunches

To pots of gold, and rainbows stretched far...
Here's to Erin Go Braugh

Here's to leprechauns that dance
To green beer and green pants

To the Cliffs of Mohair, Belfast, and Cork
Here's to lassies from the state of New York

Here's to the wind at your back, and the sun on your face
To Irish pride and Irish grace

To The Life of Riley, if you dare
Here's to being in Heaven before the Devil knows you're there

Here's to four leaf clovers every day
Here's a toast to St. Patrick's Day

Jeffrey P. Frye
Bank Robber's Blog

9th March 2015

Gangster Love by Jeffrey Frye - Art by Richard Watts

The path to Hell is paved with weak game. With people who think that their particular brand or style of bullshit is unique; people who are willing to spit their weak game and sacrifice somebody else's emotions just to get whatever it is that they might want. Nowhere else is this behavior more present than it is in relationships. All of us are wired for companionship, and to not want to feel lonely. But we're all subject to fall for somebody's weak game when we get to feeling this way, simply because we want this feeling to stop. We're wired to want to believe. Simply put, hope is a motherfucker. So is finding out that somebody isn't the person that you thought they were. It's akin to finding out that Santa Claus isn't real, and it can harden your heart, and leave you feeling pretty jaded about love and life.

Part of being a Gangster is dealing with two undeniable facts: 1) That if you get pinched and sent up the river, you're not going to be able to sleep with your mate anymore, and, 2) That somebody else will. How an individual deals with these facts is directly proportional to the level of sanity that they will enjoy while they're in prison. I can almost guarantee you that nobody ever thinks about these two things before they commit a crime. I know that I sure didn't.

Unfortunately though, in addition to my brain being wired with an aversion to loneliness, it's also wired to blow a fuse and turn obsessive-compulsive (while it makes self-defeating decisions) whenever I take narcotics. Once this fuse is blown, it triggers an extreme case of the "Fuck its" and I don't think about anything other than living in that obsession until somebody throws the breaker. Once several cops (and a judge) reset the breaker though, I'm good to go. Back to normal; and then sitting in a cell for years to come while the world goes along its merry way. And while somebody else sleeps with my girl.

Although I'm blogging about it, this is not something that I ever discuss. Something else I also don't discuss is that this fact makes me aggressive. And I have to be careful not to take my aggression out on people who don't deserve it, and I also have to be careful not to take it out on my girlfriend. Life is a constant and waits for no one, no matter who you are, or where you live. People are born and die; unexpected tragedies and blessings occur; and people fall in and out of love. This is the natural cycle of life.

I've had a couple of different girlfriends in the last six years that I've been locked up. I don't ask or expect them to not sleep with other people. I'm the one that decided to rob banks, the one that got caught, and the one that got sent away...not her. But what I do expect from my girlfriend is loyalty and emotional fidelity. As you read that last sentence, you may wonder if it's possible for your mate to sleep with somebody else, yet remain loyal to you? The answer to this largely depends on the person, but, yes, I believe that this is possible. But if a person wants to call herself my girlfriend, and if she expects emotional fidelity from me and for us to be exclusive, then she has to remain loyal to our bond and give me the same emotional fidelity that I give her, no matter who she gives her body to.

Because if a girl tells me "I love you, baby" while she's telling some other guy the exact same thing, then she's not my girlfriend-or even very much of a friend. She's just a common player. I may just be a convict who has plenty of time on his hands, but I don't have the time for somebody who can't keep it real with me.

I believe that another part of being a true Gangster is having the strength to tell somebody to "kick rocks" when you learn that their walk doesn't match their talk; and be willing to be alone as a result of this decision. I think that this is hard to do sometimes though, no matter whether you're out there or back here, because life seems a little bit less lonely, and just a little bit less hard when you have somebody to share everything with. But is it worth having somebody to share 50% of your hardships and pain with when you know that that person is being 100% emotionally unfaithful to you?

Or how about this. What if your mate was physically faithful, but only unfaithful emotionally? Could you live with it? This particular dynamic is very prevalent these days due to social media. What if your mate was having a romantic or sexual relationship with somebody online where there was absolutely no chance that they would ever be able to touch, or even meet that individual in person? Would it be worth it to overlook this, so long as you were getting what you wanted or needed from your mate? I guess that depends on the expectations of the relationship, and whether or not you two were in love. Because love changes everything, doesn't it? The answers to these questions really come down to how you're built, and if you're willing to live your beliefs and suffer for them.

If I got up in the middle of the night and found my girlfriend online talking sex or saying "I love you" to somebody else, I wouldn't freak out...or even get mad. Personally, if I found myself in this situation, I'm only going to be thinking about one thing: How many suitcases are in the house? Because she's gotta go.

After she's gone, and I'm sitting there all alone in a beautiful house that now feels like a prison cell, I'll do what real Gangsters do when they find themselves in this situation. Feel angry and stupid for believing in somebody...again. Then I'll go thru Hell as I secretly wish for Heaven. Some days, the path to hell is paved with hope. And sometimes, you have to go thru Hell in order to get to Heaven.

At least this is what I continue to tell myself as I sit here alone in my cell with nothing but my pride...and this pen.

Jeffrey P. Frye
Bank Robber's Blog