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Celebrity Tattoo Artist Pleads Not Guilty to Keeping Weapons Arsenal

By DNAinfo Staff on January 11, 2011 11:27am

Jonathan Shaw, 57, pleaded not guilty to 89 weapons charges Tuesday.
Jonathan Shaw, 57, pleaded not guilty to 89 weapons charges Tuesday.
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John Marshall Mantel

By Olivia Scheck

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A tattoo artist to the stars who's the son of a music legend pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a variety of weapons charges related to a cache of guns and knives that were allegedly found in his Manhattan Mini Storage space.

Prosecutors say Jonathan Shaw, 57, whose clients have included Johnny Depp, Marilyn Manson and Kate Moss, and whose father was reportedly big band leader Artie Shaw, was storing an arsenal of guns, knives, brass knuckles and even a bayonet, in his storage unit at 220 South Street near the South Street Seaport.

He was indicted on 89 counts of weapons posession in Manhattan Criminal Court.

"The events of this past weekend remind us that gun violence continues to plague our nation," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr said, referring to the recent shooting in Arizona. "The defendant’s illegal weapons cache endangered workers and customers at the storage facility and in the entire community."

The cache was allegedly discovered by employees of First Global Express moving company, which had been hired to ship Shaw’s belongings to a new home in Los Angeles.

Included in the former Fun City Tattoo owner’s alleged stockpile were a Norinco AK-47, Mossberg 12 gauge pump-action pistol-grip shotgun, and a loaded .30 caliber semiautomatic rifle, along with 83 knives and thousands of rounds of ammunition, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors said that Shaw was never licensed to own a firearm in New York, according to city records.

He told police who arrested him at East Midtown’s Roger Williams Hotel that he bought the AK-47 at a shop on Houston Street, court documents claimed.

Leaving court on Tuesday, Shaw declined to speak to reporters.

He was released on a $250,000 bond, which ADA Christopher Prevost said was backed by a $1.5 million, mortgage-free home that is owned either by the defendant or his family.

Shaw, who was accompanied by Lil' Wayne attorney Stacey Richman, is due back in court on March 22.

Lawyers for both sides noted that the case, if it goes to trial, would likely include "some very interesting issues" related to search warrants.