This article was originally published on The Huffington Post by Nina Golgowski on January 19, 2017.
A convicted art thief’s last-ditch attempt to request a presidential pardon from the Obama administration landed him behind bars, authorities said.
Marcus Sanford Patmon, 45, was arrested Sunday outside a suburban Washington Starbucks after a 1,050-mile drive from his Miami home in what police said was a stolen vehicle. He was jailed on a felony charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle.
“He was looking to be pardoned by the Obama administration before the Trump administration came in,” Ashley Savage, spokeswoman for police in Arlington, Virginia, told NBC 4.
The trouble with that plan ― if you exclude the stolen car ― is that Patmon was seeking a pardon from the wrong person.
“He wanted to meet with Eric Holder,” Savage said, naming the former attorney general, who was replaced by Loretta Lynch in 2015.
Patmon was looking to clear his name for a 2009 conviction for wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. He stole and tried to resell artwork by Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware said. Patmon was released from prison on the charges in 2012.
He told prosecutors in that case that he decided to get into art theft after an assault conviction in 2001, NBC 4 reported. The station said Patmon hoped he could make enough money in the field to afford him his pre-conviction lifestyle.