Shepard Fairey Turns Himself In to Face Felony Charges in Detroit

Fairey's rap sheet already includes 18 arrests for illegal tagging, but he now faces felony charges for the first time.

Shepard Fairey.

Shepard Fairey has turned himself in to authorities in Detroit to face felony charges of two counts of malicious destruction of property.

The charges relate to a series of illegal street tags and murals the artist left across the city in May. Fairey was in the city to work on several projects, including a commissioned 184 foot by 60 foot mural and an exhibition at the city’s Library Street Collective gallery.

According to the Detroit Free Press, police have identified eighteen illegal works as created by the artist. But, more charges cannot be ruled out as the city continues to investigate other sites. The damages caused by Fairey’s trademark “Andre the Giant” and OBEY tags are believed to be at least $9,000 and possibly as high as $30,000.

Fairey painted the largest mural of his career in Detroit last month. Photo:

Fairey painted his largest mural to date in Detroit last month.

Fairey has been arrested as many as 18 times on comparable charges across the US, although this is the first time that he is facing felony charges.

Earlier this month customs agents apprehended the street artist at the Los Angeles Airport as he returned to the US following a trip to Europe.

At the time, Detroit authorities decided not to extradite the artist and subsequently negotiated with Fairey’s attorney to arrange for the artist to turn himself in.

Fairey's trademark 'Andre the Giant' tag appeared throughout downtown Detroit during his stay. Photo:

Fairey’s trademark “Andre the Giant” tag appeared throughout downtown Detroit during his stay.

If found guilty, Fairey could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and potential fines in excess of $10,000.

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