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Illegal Tattoo Operation Busted

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LAWTON Okla_ One Lawton woman is behind bars Monday after running an illegal tattoo parlor from her home and inking underage customers.

Police say 32-year-old Sephra Ribucan was arrested because she didn't have a permit. The Lawton Police Department was contacted by a parent of a teenager who received a large and pretty expensive tattoo from Sephra. According to police, that parent said they didn't give permission for the tattoo, prompting the Special Operations Unit to investigate.

"The person we made contact with had a twitter account that was advertising a tattoo business at the location that we eventually got a search warrant for," LPD Detective Nancy Lombardo said.

She said it's something her unit doesn't see very often.

"We've seen less of the setups inside residences, because Lawton went through a process to allow these people to be able to tattoo in Lawton legally," Lombardo said.

As for Sephra Ribucan, she had been inking patrons at home in Lawton for as long as a few months, many of whom are minors.

"When somebody is at a house and blatantly tattooing minors without parents present, it's appalling," Lombardo said. "That's a permanent mark on this juvenile that can't be removed."

While homemade tattoos can lack professional artistry, Lombardo said forever-altered skin isn't the only risk that businesses like Ribucan's pose.

"There are many diseases you can get," Lombardo said. "That's why all these things are put into place to prevent all that: to make it safe and a safe procedure."

Sephra Ribucan has been being booked into the Lawton City Jail. For the record, Detective Lombardo said parlors in town with proper permits are allowed to tattoo minors. However, unlike these illegal operations, they must have parental permission, and a parent must be present during the session.

The charges against Ribucan don't stop there. Police were given a second search warrant for the home this afternoon after finding small marijuana plants and paraphernalia.


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