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updated: 3/20/2017 5:46 PM

Police: Brady's missing Super Bowl jerseys tracked to Mexico

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  • FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2017, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl 51 in Houston. Tom Brady's missing jersey from the Super Bowl has been found in the possession of a member of the international media. The NFL said in a statement Monday, March 20, 2017 that his jersey was found through the "cooperation of the NFL and New England Patriots' security teams, the FBI and other law enforcement authorities."

    FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2017, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady celebrates a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during Super Bowl 51 in Houston. Tom Brady's missing jersey from the Super Bowl has been found in the possession of a member of the international media. The NFL said in a statement Monday, March 20, 2017 that his jersey was found through the "cooperation of the NFL and New England Patriots' security teams, the FBI and other law enforcement authorities."
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2017 file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady prepares to pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game in Houston. Tom Brady's missing jersey from the Super Bowl has been found in the possession of a member of the international media. The NFL said in a statement Monday, March 20, 2017,  that his jersey was found through the "cooperation of the NFL and New England Patriots' security teams, the FBI and other law enforcement authorities."

    FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2017 file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady prepares to pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game in Houston. Tom Brady's missing jersey from the Super Bowl has been found in the possession of a member of the international media. The NFL said in a statement Monday, March 20, 2017, that his jersey was found through the "cooperation of the NFL and New England Patriots' security teams, the FBI and other law enforcement authorities."
    Associated Press

  • FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates during the second half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game against the Seattle Seahawks, in Glendale, Ariz. Brady's missing jersey from the Super Bowl has been found in the possession of a member of the international media.  The NFL said in a statement Monday, March 20, 2017,  that his jersey was found through the "cooperation of the NFL and New England Patriots' security teams, the FBI and other law enforcement authorities." Brady said his jersey went missing after the Patriots' 34-28 win last month over the Atlanta Falcons.  The statement also said an ongoing investigation retrieved the jersey Brady wore in the Patriots' 2015 Super Bowl win against the Seahawks.

    FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2015, file photo, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates during the second half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game against the Seattle Seahawks, in Glendale, Ariz. Brady's missing jersey from the Super Bowl has been found in the possession of a member of the international media. The NFL said in a statement Monday, March 20, 2017, that his jersey was found through the "cooperation of the NFL and New England Patriots' security teams, the FBI and other law enforcement authorities." Brady said his jersey went missing after the Patriots' 34-28 win last month over the Atlanta Falcons. The statement also said an ongoing investigation retrieved the jersey Brady wore in the Patriots' 2015 Super Bowl win against the Seahawks.
    Associated Press

  • Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo speaks about the recovery of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's jersey during a press conference in Houston, Monday, March 20, 2017. Brady’s jersey that mysteriously disappeared after the New England Patriots Super Bowl victory was tracked to Mexico by Houston police determined to make up for the “only blemish” on an otherwise smooth Super Bowl experience, Chief Art Acevedo said Monday.  (Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP)

    Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo speaks about the recovery of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's jersey during a press conference in Houston, Monday, March 20, 2017. Brady’s jersey that mysteriously disappeared after the New England Patriots Super Bowl victory was tracked to Mexico by Houston police determined to make up for the “only blemish” on an otherwise smooth Super Bowl experience, Chief Art Acevedo said Monday. (Elizabeth Conley/Houston Chronicle via AP)
    Associated Press

  • A man shields his face from the sun as he walks past the offices of tabloid newspaper La Prensa on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, Monday, March 20, 2017. The mystery of Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey led police all the way to Mexico, and authorities were investigating a former tabloid newspaper executive's possible role in the case.

    A man shields his face from the sun as he walks past the offices of tabloid newspaper La Prensa on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, Monday, March 20, 2017. The mystery of Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey led police all the way to Mexico, and authorities were investigating a former tabloid newspaper executive's possible role in the case.
    Associated Press

  • People walk past the offices of tabloid newspaper La Prensa on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, Monday, March 20, 2017. The mystery of Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey led police all the way to Mexico, and authorities were investigating a former tabloid newspaper executive's possible role in the case.

    People walk past the offices of tabloid newspaper La Prensa on Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, Monday, March 20, 2017. The mystery of Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey led police all the way to Mexico, and authorities were investigating a former tabloid newspaper executive's possible role in the case.
    Associated Press

 
 

BOSTON -- Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey has been found in Mexico six weeks after it vanished from the Patriots' locker room - but the mystery isn't over.

The NFL said the jersey was found in "possession of a credentialed member of the international media," and authorities were investigating Monday whether a former Mexican tabloid newspaper executive played a role in the theft.

It wasn't the only piece of memorabilia recovered: Authorities found a Brady jersey that had gone missing after the Patriots' 2015 Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks. A helmet belonging to a Denver Broncos player was also discovered, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

The stolen jersey - and the investigation that stretched from Boston to the border - captivated Patriots fans and social media for several days after the Patriots' 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons.

"If it shows up on eBay or something, somebody let me know," Brady said after the game.

Houston police investigators relied on a tip from an informant to trace the jersey, estimated to be worth about $500,000, to Mexico.

U.S. and Mexican officials have not identified the suspect, but the name of a former newspaper director circulated widely in Mexican news media and on social networks.

A Mexican federal government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said the attorney general's office participated in the investigation and obtained a search warrant. The jersey and other objects were found March 12, the official said.

The newspaper's owner, Organizacion Editorial Mexicana, issued a statement saying the director resigned two days later for "personal reasons."

The paper said that if the accusations are true, it "strongly condemns" that the employee used his position "to obtain a media accreditation to be able to access the field of play, news conferences and probably other areas of NRG Stadium." The paper said it had not been contacted by investigators.

A company official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that the former director was not part of the media outlet's Super Bowl coverage.

"He got accredited on behalf of La Prensa, but he took vacations. ... He was not sent by us," the person said. "They were not even aware that (he) had gone to the Super Bowl."

The former director handed over his company phone when he resigned last Tuesday, the person said.

No arrests had been made. The AP is not identifying the director because he has not been charged.

Brady, in a statement from his agent, Don Yee, expressed gratitude to investigators but said he hadn't yet been reunited with the jerseys.

"I am happy my jerseys from SB 49 and SB 51 have been recovered, and I want to thank all of the law enforcement agencies involved," Brady said. "I know they worked hard on this case - and it is very much appreciated. Hopefully when I get the jerseys back I can make something very positive come from this experience."

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo proudly congratulated his team, but was equally quick to say finding the jersey wasn't a top priority in a city with violent crime. He described the theft as the only blemish on an otherwise successful Super Bowl.

"You don't come to Texas and embarrass us here on our home turf," Acevedo said.

A Patriots spokeswoman said the team had no comment.

The jerseys are in the possession of the NFL and FBI in Boston, and law enforcement was working to authenticate them, the chief said.

"We are highly confident that these are the jerseys," Acevedo said.

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon alluded to political tensions between his country and the United States while weighing in on Twitter.

"A real embarrassment that a Mexican may have stolen Tom Brady's Jersey. It gives pretexts to the anti-Mexican offensive," Calderon tweeted. "He should be punished."

___

Orsi reported from Mexico City. Associated Press journalists Carlos Rodriguez and Eduardo Castillo in Mexico City, Howard Fendrich in Washington, D.C., and William J. Kole in Boston also contributed to this report.

___

For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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