Before Auction, Lennon Has Brush With the F.B.I.

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John Lennon has been dead for 30 years, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation is still on the case.

On Wednesday morning a small pop-culture memorabilia shop in Midtown opened an 836-lot auction timed to what would have been Lennon’s 70th birthday, which is Saturday. The prized item was a set of Lennon’s fingerprints made in 1976 as part of his application for citizenship. Minimum bid: $100,000.

But after an hourlong standoff involving cellphone calls, faxes and meetings with an agent in a parked car outside the East 57th Street storefront, the F.B.I. served the shop — called Gotta Have It! — with a subpoena and seized the fingerprint card, which was made at a New York police station on May 8, 1976, and bears a signature and the name John Winston Ono Lennon....

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