North Sioux tattoo parlor shut down for allegedly "inking" minors
NORTH SIOUX CITY, SD (KTIV) -- Many teens like to mark their 18th birthday by getting "inked." That's the birthday when they can legally get a tattoo without parental consent, but authorities say one area tattoo parlor wasn't following the rules.
On January 29, the Union County, South Dakota Sheriff's Department served a search warrant to look around the Painless Pinworks tattoo studio in North Sioux City after a parent says their child received a tattoo without permission.
Officials say they found enough evidence to shut down the operation, owned by 24-year-old Lance Dunlap of Sioux City. Along with allegedly tattooing a minor without parental consent, Dunlap's been indicted for making a false or fraudulent return to defeat or evade tax, and operating without a sales tax license.
That last charge means the state of South Dakota was not collecting any revenue off of Painless Pinworks' sales. The investigation revealed the business also had not been inspected by the health department.
"He has an obligation to understand and know the laws of the state of South Dakota and he failed to do that and he should be held accountable for that," says Union County Sheriff Dan Limoges.
The sheriff says, according to documents they found during the search, Painless Pinworks may have tattooed up to three dozens underage teenagers. He says it's important for parents to monitor their teens' activities.
"If they have that situation where their child has received a tattoo and they weren't authorized to have it, we encourage them to give us a call so we can try to match this up," Limoges said.
NewsChannel 4 spoke with owner Lance Dunlap on the phone Friday afternoon. He says he was misinformed about what was required in South Dakota. Dunlap says he contacted the state and the city of North Sioux to make sure all requirements were met, and says he got conflicting information. However, Dunlap says he believed he had taken the proper steps needed.