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.’’