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MCAO News Releases

Posted on: December 1, 2010

#1 Graffiti Tagger in Phoenix Receives Maximum Prison Sentence

(PHOENIX, AZ) December 1st, 2010 – Joel Delgado (DOB 8/16/83) has been sentenced to one year in prison followed by four years of supervised probation for recklessly defacing and damaging property throughout the Phoenix metro area by inscribing on public and private structures without the permission of the owner. In addition to the sentence, the maximum allowable under his guilty plea, the City of Phoenix is seeking more than $17,000 in restitution to cover the cost of repairing the damage Delgado caused to public property.

“The maximum sentence of prison imposed in this case should serve as both a deterrent and a warning to those who would commit acts of graffiti which are a blight upon our neighborhoods and community,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, whose office successfully prosecuted the case. “The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office takes these incidents seriously and will prosecute them accordingly,” he added.

Delgado confessed to drawing “JUGZ” or “JUGS,” his distinctive graffiti “tag,” or moniker, on more than 360 individual sites, including retail establishments, industrial properties, culverts, bridges, sidewalks, utility boxes, signs and poles. He was by far the most prolific graffiti criminal in Phoenix.

Delgado was apprehended with the assistance of a GPS-enabled digital camera that plotted the locations of his tags throughout the city, revealing areas of concentration to law enforcement officers. A hearing on his restitution obligation is scheduled for January 31st, 2011.

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