A former executive of a tabloid newspaper in Mexico City allegedly swiped two of Tom Brady's game-worn New England Patriots Super Bowl jerseys and potentially the helmet worn by Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller during Super Bowl 50.
Mauricio Ortega was the director of La Presna before he was fired after authorities contacted the publication, according to multiple reports out of Mexico. La Presna confirmed on Twitter that its former director was implicated for stealing the jerseys, although the news organization didn’t mention Ortega by name.
Ortega was listed as the director of La Presna as recently as Feb. 15, however his name no longer appears on a list of the publication's employees.
USA TODAY Sports reached out to the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of Texas and inquired about Ortega’s status as a potential suspect in the case, which began when Brady’s jersey — valued up to $500,000 by some collectors — went missing after Super Bowl LI.
“The matter is currently still under investigation, therefore, I cannot confirm the person you listed below as being involved,” executive assistant U.S. attorney Jennifer Lowery said in an email.
Lowery said any charges brought in the case are pending authentication of the jerseys.
Earlier Monday, Houston police chief Art Acevedo told reporters that investigators are confident the jerseys, recovered with the aid of the FBI and NFL security, are indeed the ones that went missing.
Authorities didn’t immediately state that the helmet potentially belonging to Miller was part of the same investigation, although FOXSports reported the item was found at the same time as the jerseys.
The Broncos released the following statement: “We have been in contact with NFL security regarding a Denver Broncos helmet that could potentially belong to Von Miller. As it is an ongoing investigation, we will defer all additional questions and inquiries to the NFL."