As most anyone living on the planet knows, Super Bowl winning quarterback and game MVP Tom Brady‘s Super Bowl game jersey was stolen right out from under his nose, literally. One moment it was placed in his personal bag inside his locker, then the next moment it was gone. There was disbelief among many about who would steal the game jersey of the greatest quarterback of all-time.
Then we learned this was not the first time one of Brady’s Super Bowl game winning jersey went missing. A similar incident occurred after Super Bowl 49 in Arizona. An investigation was launched into the latest theft and the FBI even got involved. It eventually led to Mexico and the story that U.S. based journalists uncovered is stranger than fiction.
During an appearance on Good Morning American, journalist Jay Glazer of Fox Sports was brought on to discuss the NFL’s confirmation last night that he and CNNSI‘s Tom Curruan‘s reporting on the matter was dead on. The alleged jersey thief posed as a credentialed member of the international media and apparently swiped the jersey out of Brady’s personal equipment bag after the game. The alleged thief, according to the reporting, is none other than the director of one of Mexico’s largest papers — a man named Mauricio Ortega. Fox obtained surveillance video that appears to show Ortega at the Super Bowl and promised to provide additional video evidence throughout Tuesday.
However, from a legal standpoint, the crucial issue is the value of the jersey itself. Some experts have estimated the jersey to be worth upwards of $500,000.00. LawNewz founder and ABC News Chief Legal analayst Dan Abrams explained why the jersey value is such a crucial issue on GMA this morning.
If the Texas court rules the jersey is only worth about $180, as opposed to $500,000, Abrams explained that is the difference between misdemeanor and serious felony theft in Texas. The Super Bowl occurred in Houston, TX and that is where the jersey was allegedly taken, so they have jurisdiction.
Under Texas law, a stolen item worth more than $200,000 would make the alleged perp guilty of first-degree robbery, and if convicted, the person could face up to 99 years in prison. However, if the jersey is determined to only be worth only $180 in Texas, the perp would only be charged with a misdemeanor and likely see no more than 180 days in the local county jail.
Lastly, Abrams weighed in on the matter of extradition between the United Stated and Mexico, explaining that a treaty to extradite does exist between the two countries. “El Chapo”Guzman is the most recent high profile example of extradition from Mexico to America. However, Abrams cautioned that the defendant could have several grounds to object to extradition, or at least delay the process for some time. In other words, do not expect anything to happen anytime soon on that front.
However, there may be even one more unexpected wrinkle to this saga. U.S. President Donald Trump and his alleged friendship with Brady may also be grounds for further delay! A foreign defendant could potentially argue against extradition on the basis that Brady’s alleged friendship with Trump makes the case politically motivated. You see, as as president, Trump oversees the of the Department of Justice, as it is part of the Executive Branch. We have recently seen judges in the U.S. use Trump’s own words against him to rule against his travel ban, so it is not far fetched to believe foreign judges would use Trump’s comments about foreigners inside the U.S. to argue a fair trial is impossible.
The international legal implications aside, the incident has cause the NFL to take a second look at its media access and security policies to ensure something like this never happens again.
[image via screegrab]