19-Year-Old Patriots Fan Helped Recover Tom Brady's Stolen Super Bowl Jerseys

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 5, 2017

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 3: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots hands his jersey to owner Robert Kraft during a pre-game ceremony before the Boston Red Sox home opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 3, 2017 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Dylan Wagner, a 19-year-old fan of the New England Patriots and a memorabilia collector, aided federal investigators in their search for Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jerseys, according to Cheryl Fiandaca of CBS Boston.

Wagner sold Martin Mauricio Ortega a jersey on eBay last December, and the two exchanged photos of their collections.

"He sent me 30 photos of his collection," Wagner told Fiandaca. "Front and center was Tom Brady's Super Bowl 49 jersey. I asked him outright, 'How did you get that?' and he says, 'I'll tell you later.'"

Wagner shared the photos with Boston ATF Special Agent Christopher Arone—also a memorabilia collector—and when Brady's missing uniform from this year's Super Bowl became a national story, Arone got back in contact with him.

From there, Wagner provided the ATF with the photos and two addresses for Ortega, and the agency turned that information over to the FBI. Ultimately, those photos were a crucial part in the FBI's investigation.

"He [Arone] said the video doesn't prove anything," Wagner noted of the surveillance video that showed Ortega in the Patriots locker room after the Super Bowl. "Without the photos I sent him they wouldn't have been able to get a search warrant to go into Ortega's basement and get the jerseys."

The FBI was able to recover both uniforms and return them to the Patriots.

Ortega, the former director of the tabloid La Prensa, also had in his possession a helmet that went missing from Super Bowl 50, believed to belong to Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

Per that report, "A Mexican government official confirmed that the warrant targeted Ortega and the search was at his home. Speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, the official said an agreement was reached for an unspecified victim in the U.S. not to press charges in exchange for the jersey's return."

         

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