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The 50 Biggest Street Art Arrests

DPM, London

Date: 2008.

Punishment: Four members received 18 months in prison, one member received two years, three members received suspended sentences.

British crew the DPM were first noticed by police after targeting trains and railways across Europe in 2004. They were monitored as part of a two-year investigation which allowed police to bring maximum charges. The British press called it "one of the largest graffiti conspiracies to be brought to court."

DPM defense lawyers argued the crew were just trying to achieve the same fame as those artists starring in the street art exhibition opening at the Tate Modern that day. With street artists like BLU and JR adorning the Museum's exterior, one DPM member remarked, "I know that half, if not all of the graffiti that is on the Tate Modern building is done by people who do illegal graffiti or have done illegal graffiti and have made their name doing that."

Judge Christopher Hardy said that although he admired their artistic skill, it was "a wholesale self-indulgent campaign to damage property on an industrial scale." He gave five of the eight sentenced jail time.

In support of DPM, the Anonymous Gallery in SOHO put on an exhibition called DPM: Exhibit A. Each of the crew members had work in the show next to a copy of their rap sheets.

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