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Tip from 19-year-old fan led to Tom Brady’s stolen jerseys

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On the surface, the search for Tom Brady’s Super Bowl created the impression of a multi-agency effort that included equal parts gumshoe and CSI. In reality, it wasn’t nearly that complicated.

As explained by Cheryl Fiandaca of WBZ-TV, the case turned on a tip from a 19-year-old Patriots fan who lives in Seattle and who, more importantly, collects sports memorabilia.

In December, Dylan Wagner sold a jersey to Martin Mauricio Ortega via eBay. They later shared photos of their collections. Ortega’s had Brady’s Super Bowl XLIX jersey, complete with grass stains.

Wagner asked Ortega how he got the item. Ortega said, “I’ll tell you later.”

Opting not to wait for the explanation, Wagner alerted a friend who also is an ATF special agent. Nothing happened.

After Brady’s Super Bowl LI jersey came up missing, Wagner knew that Ortega was the thief. At that point, Wagner heard from the ATF agent, who then gave the information to the FBI.

As Wagner tells it, the video of Ortega in the Patriots’ locker room was inconclusive as to whether Ortega actually stole the item, and that without photo and other facts the teenager gave to the feds, a search warrant for Ortega’s basement wouldn’t have been obtained.

Then again, Wagner is only 19. What does he know?

Oh wait.

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50 Responses to “Tip from 19-year-old fan led to Tom Brady’s stolen jerseys”
  1. tonyzendejas says: Apr 5, 2017 9:45 AM

    This Ortega guy seems like a real world-class moron, right until you get to the part of the story where he doesn’t face any charges.

  2. THX 138 says: Apr 5, 2017 9:48 AM

    Brady should give him a reward from his 14 mil bonus.

  3. maust1013 says: Apr 5, 2017 9:51 AM

    Awesome more fuel for the troll fire. Love it

  4. corkspop says: Apr 5, 2017 9:52 AM

    Sharp-eyed collector and a cool story! Thanks!

  5. kurdishpats1 says: Apr 5, 2017 9:52 AM

    Pats fan in Seattle?

    Biggest bandwagon fans in all of sports.

  6. nfella says: Apr 5, 2017 9:54 AM

    Brady, a fan living in the heart of Seahawk territory made getting your jersey back possible.

    Hook him up, man.

  7. thelastwordyaheard says: Apr 5, 2017 9:56 AM

    Seattle’s best fan, is a Patriots fan

  8. mrznyc says: Apr 5, 2017 9:59 AM

    Or maybe the reason no other player has said anything about big game items stolen is because they simply grabbed another jersey/helmet/kneepad and sold that as the genuine “game worn” item.

  9. theright0pinion says: Apr 5, 2017 9:59 AM

    No charges for Ortega in Mexico… the criminals should just stay there because the days of them getting away with crime in the US is over.

    So, the only reason they come to the US is to find victims?

  10. tomcoot says: Apr 5, 2017 10:00 AM

    They may have put Brady in danger by freely throwing his name and location around.

  11. 700levelvet says: Apr 5, 2017 10:01 AM

    I dunno… It’s a jersey…

  12. scoops1 says: Apr 5, 2017 10:08 AM

    they can find a jersey but they can’t find Malaysia Airlines Flight 370?

  13. weepingjebus says: Apr 5, 2017 10:09 AM

    Pats fans don’t miss a trick. By contrast Goodell’s 9th grade chemistry teacher was probably a Jets fan.

  14. factschecker says: Apr 5, 2017 10:09 AM

    Sweet now we will have fans telling us who we can and can’t root for based on where you currently live. I love this new free America. I never realized how un-American I was being by making my own choices until others started dictating to me exactly how I should be living my life.

  15. firecracker87 says: Apr 5, 2017 10:10 AM

    700levelvet says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:01 AM
    I dunno… It’s a jersey…

    —————————————

    I suppose you have no keepsakes or family heirlooms. They are essentially priceless to the owner but to others probably worthless. Unless you’re the GOAT QB and you wore it in probably the most historic SB so far.

    I mean, your comment, really?

  16. whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says: Apr 5, 2017 10:10 AM

    It would be so cool if Brady gave the kid one of the two jerseys. He is a collector, and that would make one heck of a centerpiece to his collection.

  17. fareandbalanced says: Apr 5, 2017 10:20 AM

    Can’t wait for the movie.

  18. Della Street says: Apr 5, 2017 10:20 AM

    whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:10 AM
    It would be so cool if Brady gave the kid one of the two jerseys. He is a collector, and that would make one heck of a centerpiece to his collection.

    __________________________

    Nah, maybe a signed jersey, but not the SB jerseys.

  19. A happy green parrot says: Apr 5, 2017 10:21 AM

    whybotherifeverythinggetscensored says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:10 AM
    It would be so cool if Brady gave the kid one of the two jerseys. He is a collector, and that would make one heck of a centerpiece to his collection.

    ———————-

    I dont know about those two. If they go anywhere its likely the Pats museum at Gillette, thats where most of that stuff ends up. But you can trust that the kid will be getting hooked up well.

    For example: Since he is also aspiring at QB (I read that in a different story) Brady can get him into some of those development camps.

  20. A happy green parrot says: Apr 5, 2017 10:23 AM

    firecracker87 says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:10 AM
    700levelvet says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:01 AM
    I dunno… It’s a jersey…
    —————————————

    I suppose you have no keepsakes or family heirlooms. They are essentially priceless to the owner but to others probably worthless. Unless you’re the GOAT QB and you wore it in probably the most historic SB so far.

    I mean, your comment, really?

    ———————————

    True true.

    Plus I think he forgot to finish his sentance…”It’s a jersey” that would fetch $500k at auction.

  21. A happy green parrot says: Apr 5, 2017 10:30 AM

    kurdishpats1 says:
    Apr 5, 2017 9:52 AM
    Pats fan in Seattle?

    Biggest bandwagon fans in all of sports.

    —————

    At 19 he is too young to be called a bandwagon fan. He has never known a world in which the Patriots weren’t dominant.

  22. LyinRogerMustGo says: Apr 5, 2017 10:31 AM

    Did you know that when the Patriots return to the Super Bowl this coming season Tom Brady will have ended his season in a Super Bowl game in exactly half the seasons in this career? WOW! 🙂

    #GOAT
    #ThereIsNoQuestion
    #ThereIsNoDoubt
    #AllHailTheGreatest
    #KissHisFullHandOfRings
    #PuckerUpButtercups

  23. miklib says: Apr 5, 2017 10:38 AM

    He would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for that darned wacky kid and his eBay!

  24. mcnabbster says: Apr 5, 2017 10:38 AM

    Ortega is a thief, but the 19 year old is a rat. He befriended Ortega, as evidenced by the exchange of pictures of their PERSONAL collections, and then sold him up the river. From where I’m from, this is not to be praised.

  25. trun0rth says: Apr 5, 2017 10:40 AM

    The next chapter of this story has to be Brady doing something very cool for that 19 year old kid.

    Maybe a nice handwritten letter from Brady himself, and…………….. (let the comments begin)

  26. bearssuck says: Apr 5, 2017 10:44 AM

    That wall couldn’t go up fast enough.

  27. cosmicconvoy says: Apr 5, 2017 10:48 AM

    How does this happen more than once and the team head of security keeps his job?

  28. 12brichandfamous says: Apr 5, 2017 10:50 AM

    mcnabbster says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:38 AM
    Ortega is a thief, but the 19 year old is a rat. He befriended Ortega, as evidenced by the exchange of pictures of their PERSONAL collections, and then sold him up the river. From where I’m from, this is not to be praised.
    ==============

    I am saddened for you that doing the right thing is frowned upon in your community.

    I imagine that community is not doing well economically.

    Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Integrity builds trust. People invest money where they have trust. Investment creates opportunity. It all starts with doing the right thing.

  29. Flash1287 says: Apr 5, 2017 10:55 AM

    GOAT

  30. inyourmind says: Apr 5, 2017 10:59 AM

    callimg a 19 year old a rat,they weren’t friends read the story

  31. 700levelvet says: Apr 5, 2017 11:05 AM

    He shoots…. He scores….lol

  32. AngryHumanoid says: Apr 5, 2017 11:05 AM

    mcnabbster says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:38 AM
    Ortega is a thief, but the 19 year old is a rat. He befriended Ortega, as evidenced by the exchange of pictures of their PERSONAL collections, and then sold him up the river. From where I’m from, this is not to be praised.

    ————————————–

    That is just… sad. I understand having a friends’ back, but what you’re talking about is the snitches get stitches mindset which just keeps people from improving their lives and the lives of people around them.

    If someone is your friend you help them get better, you don’t cover up for them.

  33. veddermn8 says: Apr 5, 2017 11:08 AM

    mcnabbster says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:38 AM

    Ortega is a thief, but the 19 year old is a rat. He befriended Ortega, as evidenced by the exchange of pictures of their PERSONAL collections, and then sold him up the river. From where I’m from, this is not to be praised.

    ——–

    Where does it say they were friends? It says they did business together and shared photos of their collections, but that was likely to build a networking relationship more than anything. It doesn’t sound like they met or hung out. Ortega stole a jersey worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why should the kid be loyal to him?

  34. aqibhasmorepick6sthantylaw says: Apr 5, 2017 11:19 AM

    mcnabbster says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:38 AM
    Ortega is a thief, but the 19 year old is a rat. He befriended Ortega, as evidenced by the exchange of pictures of their PERSONAL collections, and then sold him up the river. From where I’m from, this is not to be praised.

    —————
    If you spoke to someone a few times and then figured out that they were let’s say a pedophile…. are you saying you wouldn’t turn that person in? I’m not equating a jersey stealing jack wagon to a pedophile.:. I’m just curious where you draw the line on what is reportable and what is being a rat….

    2nd point… would you then extort this jersey stealer… is extortion prevalent where you’re from as well?

  35. factschecker says: Apr 5, 2017 11:19 AM

    People invest money where they have trust. Investment creates opportunity. It all starts with doing the right thing.
    ————
    I totally LOVED and agreed with your post. But it got me thinking, does the NFL not trust itself? Because 90% of the time they don’t invest their own money, instead they use tax dollars and not their own money.

    And thoughts to other posts:
    Dylan Wager gets to be part of a national (heck global) story. That’s a great reward for doing the right thing. Way to go Dylan!

  36. nfl1818 says: Apr 5, 2017 11:20 AM

    I would think an all expenses paid trip to Boston – 3 nights at a nice hotel, full tour of Gillette with some signed jerseys and one or two sleeveless hoodies, catch a game at Fenway, then opening day/night at Gillette-

    and throw in a round at TCC, maybe a game at the Gaaaaahhhrden

    I’m sure Kraft and Brady will take care of it

    Done

  37. nathanp2013 says: Apr 5, 2017 11:31 AM

    mcnabbster says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:38 AM
    Ortega is a thief, but the 19 year old is a rat. He befriended Ortega, as evidenced by the exchange of pictures of their PERSONAL collections, and then sold him up the river. From where I’m from, this is not to be praised.
    ———————————————————-
    I am sad for you and the people in your life.

  38. 345snarkavenue says: Apr 5, 2017 11:35 AM

    mcnabbster says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:38 AM
    Ortega is a thief, but the 19 year old is a rat. He befriended Ortega, as evidenced by the exchange of pictures of their PERSONAL collections, and then sold him up the river. From where I’m from, this is not to be praised.

    ———–

    if the kid had participated in the theft then turned Ortega in, that would make him a rat.

    anyways, if you had read the article in the link above, you’d know that Ortega sent the kid 30 photos of his collection (which would seem to be a brag-fest of sorts) and you’d know that the kid did NOT know the SB49 jersey had been stolen when he asked Ortega how he got it. so he shared Ortega’s photos with his friend, also an avid collector, who also happens to be an ATF agent.

    When the SB51 jersey was stolen, the ATF agent got in touch with the kid.

  39. pastabelly says: Apr 5, 2017 11:40 AM

    Fly the kid to Foxboro for the Thursday night home opener and treat him well. Brady should give him an autographed game jersey, maybe from that game. The kid, after all, is a collector.

  40. gorddowniegreat says: Apr 5, 2017 12:06 PM

    Maybe this kid can know help solve who killed Biggie and Tupac

  41. bullcharger says: Apr 5, 2017 12:10 PM

    I am a Patriots fan, and I now am beyond the jersey thing. It was fun, but holding up the Jersey to the Redsox crowd was the moment it jumped the shark for me. Time to let it go. The only thing that would be nice to hear is if they were auctioned to a private collector and the proceeds were donated to a great charity.

  42. ee00ee says: Apr 5, 2017 1:56 PM

    mcnabbster says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:38 AM
    Ortega is a thief, but the 19 year old is a rat. He befriended Ortega, as evidenced by the exchange of pictures of their PERSONAL collections, and then sold him up the river. From where I’m from, this is not to be praised.

    10 158

    ____________________

    This helps illustrate a real problem in this country. There are far too many ethically challenged people like yourself and where you’re from. You sir, are part of the problem, not the solution. I hope you, and the people where you’re from, can grow to be better than this.

    Kudos to this 19yo kid for being part of the solution.

  43. macjacmccoy says: Apr 5, 2017 3:21 PM

    That last paragraph seems like someone was just being nice to him saying, we couldn’t have done this without you, and the kid being young took it to heart. Especially the we couldn’t have gotten the warrant without you part. Wasn’t this guy living in Mexico? There justice system is not like Americas. If cops wanna go in a house, they go in a house. They don’t need elaborate proof like American police forces.

  44. imodan says: Apr 5, 2017 4:49 PM

    factschecker says:
    Apr 5, 2017 10:09 AM
    Sweet now we will have fans telling us who we can and can’t root for based on where you currently live. I love this new free America. I never realized how un-American I was being by making my own choices until others started dictating to me exactly how I should be living my life.
    ————————————————————–
    Preach brother!

  45. pftpffftttt says: Apr 5, 2017 5:31 PM

    “in Mexico… the criminals should just stay there because the days of them getting away with crime in the US is over.”

    Stay in school, kids!

  46. thegreatgabbert says: Apr 5, 2017 6:14 PM

    Dork in the basement > Combined law enforcement agencies of two countries.

  47. jackodn says: Apr 5, 2017 6:55 PM

    Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is looking. Integrity builds trust. People invest money where they have trust. Investment creates opportunity. It all starts with doing the right thing.

    Just beautifully said.

  48. mcnabbster says: Apr 5, 2017 7:44 PM

    So easy to trigger people. Jokes on you.

  49. azdrummer says: Apr 5, 2017 10:09 PM

    Guarantee the kid assumed he would receive something from the Pats/Brady for solving the case…. I know I would be thinking that way.

  50. fjw2 says: Apr 6, 2017 12:47 PM

    bullcharger says:
    Apr 5, 2017 12:10 PM
    The only thing that would be nice to hear is if they were auctioned to a private collector and the proceeds were donated to a great charity.

    ——

    I’m expecting that to happen.

    Assuming that Brady is the current owner of the shirt, he can put it up for auction with the proceeds going to charity, and take a nice tax write off for whatever it sells for, which I’m sure he could use.

    Kraft would be likely to buy the shirt and hang it at the Patriots Place HOF, and his purchase price being a charitable contribution, would be tax deductible, which I’m sure he could use too.

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