Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

Iowa DCI agent accused of ‘warrantless search’ to start sports gambling investigation

by Iowa’s News Now Staff

Monday, Jan 22nd 2024

Iowa DCI agent accused of ‘warrantless search’ to start sports gambling investigation

A new court filing accused an Iowa DCI agent of starting the gambling investigation into Iowa and Iowa State athletes last year with a “warrantless search.”

The court documents filed Monday in the case of former Cyclone defensive lineman Isaiah Lee say DCI Agent Brian Sanger was given access to a data tool called Kibana, that allowed him to set up a Geofence around certain buildings on the Iowa and Iowa State campuses to target underage gamblers.

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Van Plumb, the attorney for Lee and former Cyclone Eyioma Uwazurike, says Sanger never had a tip, evidence of wrongdoing or a complaint. The filing says during a deposition on January 19, 2024, Sanger stated he “cannot remember why he decided to conduct the warrantless searches but that he was concerned about things such as people infiltrating Iowa’s sports teams to gain insider information or match fixing.”

The court filing says Sanger started with GeoFencing freshman/sophomore dorms at the University of Iowa. He could see if betting apps Draft Kings and Fan Duel were opening in the dorms but could not see if bets were being placed or by who.

After presenting this information to DCI supervisors and asking permission to continue the investigation, he was told no, the filing says. Sanger then reportedly decided to target an athletic facility at the University of Iowa since it was restricted to only athletes, coaching staff and personal. He is accused of doing this also without a warrant, tips or complaints of illegal gambling. Supervisors then gave him the green light to investigate after this information was revealed.

The filing is asking a judge to give his defense team a number of documents in the case from Iowa DCI investigators including the Iow DCI’s policies and procedures regarding the use of GeoComply software, and a lot of the communication between agents, the schools involved, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and other organizations.

Iowa’s News Now reached out to the Iowa DCI for comment on this development but has yet to hear back.

Dozens of Iowa and Iowa State players faced charges or suspensions stemming from the investigation. Most were charged with tampering with records for allegedly betting on the app under a family member or friend’s name or for betting underage. Some players, like former ISU QB Hunter Dekkers and former Iowa kicker Aaron Blom were accused of betting on the teams they played for. There was no evidence that any of the bets manipulated the outcomes of any games. All the player who bet on their teams were backups when it happened.

Hawkeye defensive lineman Noah Shannon was supposed for his full final season of eligibility for betting on a Hawkeye sport other than football.

Lee is accused of making 115 bets including a bet he made against the Cyclones in 2021. Iowa State beat Texas that day 30-7. The NFL indefinitely suspended Uwazurike who had been playing for the Denver Broncos when he was charged in the case.

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