A Massachusetts man was arrested on Long Island and charged with attempting to sell Boston Red Sox memorabilia that law enforcement authorities said was allegedly stolen.
According to the Suffolk County (N.Y.) District Attorney’s office, Jamie Pritchard Holland, 32, of Nahant, Mass., attempted to sell the items to Lelands, a sports auction house in Bohemia, N.Y. He is charged with criminal sale of stolen property in Suffolk County, N.Y, and two counts of receiving stolen property in Suffolk County, Mass.
According to the district attorney, when Holland attempted to sell the baseball memorabilia he used a phony story about raising money for his dying child.
“Holland’s tale unraveled and rather than the home run he hoped for, he struck out,” said Thomas J. Spota, Suffolk County (N.Y.) District Attorney.
Spota spoke on Thursday at a press conference on Long Island as he stood behind a table of Red Sox items that included a pair of David Ortiz game issued pants, a signed Dustin Pedroia cleat, a Kevin Youkilis first baseman’s mitt, countless jerseys and hats, and a home plate from the bullpen at Fenway Park.
Also included among the items was a piece of the wall that once stood near the Red Sox bullpen at Fenway Park that says “380” signifying the distance from home plate. It is signed by Red Sox legend Johnny Pesky, who Holland persuaded to sign the wall using the same story about his dying child, the district attorney said.
Holland convinced Lelands that he received the memorabilia from the brother of Theo Epstein, the general manager of the Red Sox, according to Spota.
The incident was exposed when Major League Baseball investigators stumbled upon the items on Lelands’ website. They contacted Spota’s office and an undercover operation involving detectives seeing the items at the Bohemia facility led to Holland’s arrest.
“Lelands authorized [the undercover investigators] to come over for what was available,” said Christopher McPartland, chief of the government corruption bureau in the district attorney’s office on Long Island. “Once they determined all the items were in Bohemia, we executed a search warrant and made the seizure of items.”
Spota said Holland paid $600 for a van of the stolen property.
Holland, who had other outstanding warrants in his name, according to a spokesperson from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office in Massachusetts, was arraigned in his home state in March 2011 and is due back in a Massachusetts courtroom June 7.
The Boston Police Department and Suffolk County District Attorney in Massachusetts would not comment about the on-going investigation involving the arrest of the individuals associated with stealing the items from Fenway.
An official with the Red Sox also declined comment.