WASHINGTON – The search for quarterback Tom Brady’s stolen Super Bowl jersey is over.
“Through the cooperation of the NFL and New England Patriots’ security teams, the FBI and other law enforcement authorities, the Super Bowl LI jersey won last month by MVP Tom Brady has been recovered,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement released Monday.
“Also retrieved during the ongoing investigation was the jersey Brady wore in the Patriots’ victory in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks in 2015.”
Both jerseys was recovered in Mexico, Houston police said Monday.
The NFL said both jerseys were “found in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media.”
No further information on the suspect has been released, although Houston police said the suspect is not a Houston resident.
The suspect is expected to face federal charges – including transporting stolen goods across state lines and outside the country.
Houston police had previously said the theft would be considered a felony since the jersey was estimated to be worth $500,000. No value has been given for Brady’s Super Bowl XLIX jersey.
The jersey from Super Bowl LI disappeared from the Patriots’ locker room shortly after the Feb. 5 game against the Atlanta Falcons. Brady said the jersey vanished from his duffel bag.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said the department devoted a “handful” of investigators from the Major Offenders Division to the case, and the Texas Rangers assisted.
“This was not the highest priority of the Houston Police Department,” Acevedo said at a Monday news conference.
But the theft was the “only blemish” on Houston’s moment in the international spotlight as a Super Bowl host, he said.
Houston investigators found an informant who led the investigation to Mexico, Acevedo said.
Once Houston tracked the jersey to Mexico, the department asked the FBI to connect with Mexican authorities, who then assisted, he said.
The NFL and the FBI have the jerseys in Boston, Acevedo said, where they will be tested to confirm they are the missing items. But Acevedo said police are “highly confident” they found the right jerseys. Both will be returned to Brady.
The FBI would not comment on the investigation Monday.
The New England Patriots star previously said he was optimistic about the jersey’s return. “So if it shows up on eBay somewhere, someone let me know, try to track that down,” Brady said at the Super Bowl post-game news conference.
Not everyone is celebrating the return of Brady’s jerseys.
While testifying Monday afternoon at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, FBI Director James Comey said he hated the New England Patriots.