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Utah County man botches tattoo in drug exchange, police say

Published April 18, 2012 5:21 pm

Police • Man stopped in the middle of the tattoo job to smoke drugs.
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A 23-year-old Eagle Mountain man is in trouble with the law for allegedly giving an teenager a terrible tattoo in exchange for drugs.

Not only did the independent tattoo artist knowingly decide to tattoo to a 17-year-old, which is illegal in Utah without parental permission, authorities allege he took a break to smoke marijuana or Spice during the application of the boy's permanent tattoo.

The result: "One of the worst tattoos [our investigator] has ever seen," Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. He said he did not know what the tattoo depicted.

He said the Utah County Health Department was very concerned about the tattoo and also whether the teen might have contracted an infection during the February application.

Cannon said the man pursued the teen, repeatedly offering to provide the tattoo in return for drugs and medications. He also told the boy that if he could keep providing him drugs, he'd get the boy "guns or flat screen TVs or other property items," Cannon said.

He said the boy eventually agreed to let the unemployed tattoo artist to give him a tattoo.

The man was arrested Monday on suspicion of felony child endangerment, some misdemeanor drug counts and the misdemeanor crime of unlawfully tattooing a minor, Utah County jail records show.

Cannon said the 17-year-old later went back to the tattoo artist for touch-up work before his 18th birthday.


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