NORTH PORT — A North Port man was arrested after police found illegal tattooing equipment and various illegal substances, the North Port Police Department reported Thursday.

Matthew Neil Clemens, 29, was charged with unlawful tattooing, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of cannabis with intent to sell, possession of a prescription drug without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police went to the home on the 2700 block of Vizza Lane on Wednesday with a search warrant for sale of narcotics and illegal tattooing, police reports show.

North Port Police Department spokesperson Josh Taylor said officers got a tip about the tattooing and soon realized more than that was happening at the home.

Police also found 2.1 grams of cocaine, 70.9 grams of cannabis, 1.9 grams of THC, three Alprazolam pills, and various drug paraphernalia including half-smoked joints, a glass pipe with residue and several small clear Ziplock baggies, according to an arrest affidavit.

A tattoo room in the home allegedly contained items “positioned in a manner to support the belief that tattooing were being done in the residence,” which was confirmed by a Department of Health representative, according to the affidavit.

“He had a whole setup going,” Taylor said. “It was needles, everything that you would find in a normal tattoo establishment.”

Information on tattoo establishment licensing is available from the Florida Department of Health. Licensed establishments are required to have current licenses visible for both the tattoo artists and the tattoo establishment.

Taylor said whether or not Clemens had a tattoo artist license, he was not licensed to do tattooing in his house.

“The biggest risk, whether the guy had the right equipment and a license is the sterilization of the equipment and the safety risks that come with that,” Taylor said. “Professionals working out of a reputable place have certain practices that are ensured take place with the equipment. When someone’s doing out of their house, are they following those steps? Who knows.”



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