Here's a cautionary tale for all you aspiring spray-can artistes out there: If you're "throwing up" your beautiful work on someone's property without permission, try not to post photos of your conquests on Flickr.
The LAPD on Friday says Francisco Montoya's alleged tags as RUSIA ended up prominently on Flickr, along with some of the work of a tagging crew cops said he belongs to, On The Run, a.k.a. OTR.
When cops caught up with Montoya and brother Aldo, who they say tagged as ALDOE, they said they found ecstasy pills and high-grade marijuana.
"Anyone familiar with downtown Los Angeles will recognize these tags," said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon. "We believe that these vandals have cost the public and businesses thousands of dollars."
The pair allegedly tagged up a building at 117 Winston St. in the Old Bank District downtown. The work appears to be well within view of ... the Crewest graffiti art gallery at 110 Winston St.
LAPD officers arrested Francisco in Long Beach and collared Aldo in South Gate. Along with the drugs officers said they found spray-can tips, sketchbooks featuring graffiti art and, of course, plenty of spray paint.
Because of the alleged narcotics discovery, Francisco was booked on suspicion of possessing ecstasy for sale. His bail was set at 50K. Aldo was booked on suspicion of having pot for sale. His bail was set at 40K.
Cops said both men are 26 and that both were on probation for "prior convictions."
They also said one of Francisco's RUSIA tags on a 710 freeway train trestle would cost $25,000 to clean up and would probably necessitate temporarily shutting down the freeway and railroad.
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What really sucks for these suspects is that they could end up in prison with hardcore gangsters and other criminals who will surely ask what they're in for.
Good luck, guys.