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Two men arrested for ‘theft of $550,000 gold bar’

Two men have been arrested for allegedly stealing a 17th-century gold bar from a Florida museum eight years after the $550,000 treasure disappeared.

Jarred Alexander Goldman, 32, and Richard Steven Johnson, 41, made initial court appearances on Tuesday, a day after their arrests, Annette Lima, a Justice Department spokeswoman in the Southern District of Florida, said in an email.

Federal authorities said the pair drove on August 18, 2010, from West Palm Beach to Key West’s Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, where Goldman stood guard while Johnson plucked the oblong bar from its perch. 

Federal authorities said the pair drove on August 18, 2010, from West Palm Beach to Key West's Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, where Goldman stood guard while Johnson plucked the oblong bar from its perch

Jarred Goldman, 32, and Richard Steven Johnson, 41, have been arrested for allegedly stealing a 17th-century gold bar from a Florida museum nearly eight years after the $550,000 treasure disappeared

The relic had been aboard the Santa Margarita, a Spanish galleon that sank in the Florida Straits in 1622 with more than 9,000 ounces of gold plundered from the Americas. The stolen bar (file image) has not been located

The relic had been aboard the Santa Margarita, a Spanish galleon that sank in the Florida Straits in 1622 with more than 9,000 ounces of gold plundered from the Americas. The stolen bar (file image) has not been located

‘We were devastated,’ museum Chief Executive Melissa Kendrick said of the theft in a telephone interview on Tuesday. 

‘This was a piece of a history that people could touch, and many people considered it their own gold bar.’  

Lawyers for the men could not be immediately reached for comment.

The relic had been aboard the Santa Margarita, a Spanish galleon that sank in the Florida Straits in 1622 with more than 9,000 ounces of gold plundered from the Americas.

Treasure hunter Mel Fisher, for whom the museum is named, discovered part of the Santa Margarita wreck in 1980 while scouring the sea floor for ships which were once in a fleet sailing treasures back to Spain.

The stolen bar has not been located. The museum’s insurance company had offered as much as $25,000 for information leading to its return.

Treasure hunter Mel Fisher, for whom the museum is named, discovered part of the Santa Margarita wreck in 1980 while scouring the sea floor for ships which were once in a fleet sailing treasures back to Spain. Pictured is the Key West's Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

Treasure hunter Mel Fisher, for whom the museum is named, discovered part of the Santa Margarita wreck in 1980 while scouring the sea floor for ships which were once in a fleet sailing treasures back to Spain. Pictured is the Key West’s Mel Fisher Maritime Museum

Authorities did not reveal how they determined Goldman and Johnson to be suspects in the case.

Goldman was arrested in South Florida on Monday, and authorities nabbed Johnson in Sacramento, California, court records said. 

Both face charges of conspiring to commit an offense against the US and theft of major art work, and could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

A judge in the Florida Keys granted Goldman bail on Tuesday, while a judge in California decided Johnson was a flight risk and ordered his detention pending a trial.  



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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