Exec at Mex­ico pa­per eyed in jer­sey ca­per

Chicago Sun-Times - - BEARSBEAT - BYA. J. PEREZ

A for­mer ex­ec­u­tive of a tabloid news­pa­per in Mex­ico City al­legedly swiped two of New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots quar­ter­back Tom Brady’s game- worn 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 Prensa be­fore he was fired after au­thor­i­ties con­tacted the pub­li­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple re­ports out of Mex­ico. La Prensa con­firmed on Twit­ter that its for­mer di­rec­tor was im­pli­cated in the theft of the jer­seys, al­though it didn’t men­tion Ortega by name.

Ortega was listed as the di­rec­tor of La Prensa as re­cently as Feb. 15, but his name no longer ap­pears on a list of the pub­li­ca­tion’s em­ploy­ees.

USA To­day reached out Mon­day 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 at up to $ 500,000 by some col­lec­tors — went miss­ing after the Su­per Bowl.

‘‘ The mat­ter is cur­rently still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion,’’ ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant U. S. at­tor­ney Jen­nifer Low­ery said in an email. ‘‘ There­fore, I can­not con­firm the per­son you listed be­low as be­ing in­volved.’’

Low­ery said any charges brought in the case are pend­ing the authentication of the jer­seys.

Ear­lier in the day, Hous­ton po­lice chief Art Acevedo told re­porters in­ves­ti­ga­tors are con­fi­dent the jer­seys, which were re­cov­ered with the aid of the FBI and NFL se­cu­rity, are the ones that went miss­ing.

Au­thor­i­ties didn’t im­me­di­ately say the hel­met po­ten­tially be­long­ing to Miller was part of the same in­ves­ti­ga­tion, but Fox Sports 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.’’

| GRE­GORY PAYAN/ AP

Au­thor­i­ties think two of Pa­tri­ots quar­ter­back TomBrady’s game- worn Su­per Bowl jer­seys that had gone miss­ing have been re­cov­ered.

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