SLOAN, N.Y. (WIVB) - Investigators say a tattoo artist used Facebook and the Erie County Fair to recruit underage customers.
Erie County Sheriff's Chief Scott Patronik says tattoos for kids under the age of 18 are against the law in the State of New York. Deputies recently arrested 20-year-old Jacob Gammack of Sloan and charged him with tattooing three teenage sisters after their mother noticed the "body art" was not wearing off.
"There's a lot of dangers from an illegal-type tattoo. That she originally thought were just temporary tattoos that were put on. As she looked into it and realized they were permanent, she made a complaint with the sheriff's office," Chief Patronik
Investigators believe Gammack was advertising his services underground at the Erie County Fair last August and we found what we believe to be solicitations on his Facebook page.
Erich Foster operates Rise Above tattoo parlor in North Buffalo, where it's called body art. Foster told News 4 the underground artists are giving the business a bad name and it is dangerous.
"We've heard of diseases and things like that and infections coming from people who tattoo out of basements, out of garages, tattoo underage and at parties, which is certainly not what we are about," Foster said.
According to Foster, the legitimate body art shops are licensed and regulated very closely by Erie County.
"They inspect our stations. They check our autoclave. Our sterilization unit to make sure it's been properly spore tested and everything's up-to-date," Foster said. "You pass the test, you can wait for your permit to come in the mail and then you're good to go. You can tattoo in Erie County."
Gammack was charged with six counts of tattooing a child under 18 and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child. He was released on an appearance ticket for Hamburg Town Court.
Police say there may be more victims. Anyone with information is asked to call 858-2903.
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