NEW: Gardens man convicted in theft of rare gold bar from Keys museum


A Palm Beach Gardens man was found guilty Wednesday of stealing a rare 17th-century gold bar from a Key West museum. 

A jury convicted Jarred Alexander Goldman on one count each of theft of a major artwork and of conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States. The trial was held in Key West before Judge Jose E. Martinez. 

A co-defendant in the case, Richard Steven Johnson of Northern California, pleaded guilty to the same charges in April. 

Goldman faces up to 15 years in prison. He will be allowed to remain free on bond until a sentencing hearing.

Federal prosecutors said that on or about Aug. 18, 2010, the men drove to Key West from West Palm Beach to steal the gold bar from the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. 

Goldman was the lookout while Johnson removed the bar from its display case, authorities said. 

The 74.85-ounce gold bar is valued at $550,000, according a 2015 report in the Florida Keys Keynoter newspaper. 

It had been on display at the museum for more than 20 years. It was in a case designed to let people to touch it and pick it up, but not remove it, the Keynoter reported. 

The FBI recovered a sliver of the bar in April, according to the Miami Herald.  

It initially was recovered from the Santa Margarita shipwreck in 1980 by Fisher, a treasure hunter who died in 1998, and his crew. The Santa Margarita was among a fleet of Spanish ships that sank off the Florida Keys in 1622 after getting caught in a hurricane, according to the museum’s website.


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