KEY WEST, Fla. — Authorities say two men have been arrested in the 2010 theft of a museum’s 17th-century gold bar, valued at $550,000.

A U.S. Department of Justice statement says 41-year-old Richard Steven Johnson, of Rio Linda, California, and 32-year-old Jarred Alexander Goldman, of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, were arrested Monday and charged with conspiring to steal and stealing the gold bar from the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum in Key West.

Both await arraignment. It wasn’t known if they have lawyers.

The 74.8-ounce (2.1-kilogram) bar was found in 1980 on a 1622 Spanish galleon wreck off the Florida Keys by the late shipwreck salvor Mel Fisher. Authorities say it hasn’t been recovered.

The artifact was long displayed in an acrylic museum case, allowing visitors to touch and lift it.


Online: Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, http://www.melfisher.org

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