The United States is a nation of tattoo artists.
For years, the country has been a magnet for those seeking to get their names on large and beautiful tattoos.
In some cases, they even get a few thousand dollars for it.
But what happens when someone who’s not a tattoo artist actually wants a tattoo?
It can be complicated, and often people can’t afford to get it.
For example, in 2012, a man named Scott St. Clair was sentenced to nine months in prison after he was caught selling tattooed body parts online.
St. Claire had been tattooing people in New York City and Texas for several years and had started getting clients in 2006.
But after St. Clare was caught, the tattoo shop owners took him down and sent him to jail.
St Clair was fined $1,200, ordered to pay restitution, and then a judge threw out the case.
When asked about the case, a spokesman for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said it wasn’t clear if St. Charles was a tattoo parlor.
Stokes, the owner of the Tattoo Studio Tattoo Parlor in Phoenix, had a different explanation for why he was arrested.
“I was the only one to go after him,” he told ABC News.
St Claire was sentenced for his part in a scheme to illegally sell body parts, including tattoos of his wife and children, which St. Louise was supposed to have stopped.
Stacey was sentenced in 2016 for allegedly selling hundreds of body parts on his website and receiving $1.2 million from them.
The court found St. James and St Clair were in collusion to sell hundreds of thousands of body part tattoos, and they were charged with a conspiracy to commit a crime.
Stiles attorneys had no comment on the case or the criminal proceedings.
Stairwells story was also different, and he said it was important to highlight that he had tattoos that he was not selling.
“For me, I never intended to do it,” Stairway told ABC affiliate KTAR.
“That was just a hobby.”
Stairways case isn’t unique.
In February, a judge in Arizona convicted a tattoo shop owner and his two accomplices of a drug-trafficking scheme that included the trafficking of more than 500 body parts and thousands of dollars in cash.
The case focused on a man who had been working as a tattooed artist for more than a decade.
He was charged with making a controlled substance and trafficking a controlled drug, and the charges stemmed from his own tattoo of a snake in his hand.
Stairs attorney told ABC that the case wasn’t about his clients, but about a few tattoo artists who didn’t know how to properly do their jobs.
“We are very proud of our clients, and we hope that in some way it helps educate people about the consequences of tattooing,” his attorney, Thomas Graziano, told ABC.
It’s a situation that Stairs is aware of, as well.
“The most I’ve been punished in my life is for a broken tattoo,” he said.
But his lawyer doesn’t think Stair should be jailed, at least for the time being.
“This is a criminal matter,” he says.
“You don’t get to choose whether you’re going to go to jail or not.”
He says he’s confident that he’ll be able to find a job as soon as he’s released.
He says if his client doesn’t have a tattoo, he has no problem paying for it himself.
“A lot of people don’t even know it’s a tattoo,” Stairs said.