It Looks Like The Gambling Probe on Iowa Athletes Might’ve Been Illegal
Months after it was revealed that several Iowa State athletes were under investigation for gambling, a veteran agent for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is saying that the agency's searches were illegally conducted.
This agent asked to be removed from the investigation after his superior misrepresented the purpose of the investigation, per Our Quad Cities. This came to light in a new court filing on Tuesday, January 23rd in Story County.
This summer, a whopping 15 student athletes at both the University of Iowa and Iowa State University were charged with a plethora of minor offenses after an investigation by the DCI revealed underage gambling by student-athletes. Nine athletes were charged with Underage Gambling and pled guilty; six others were charged with Identity Theft and Tampering with Court Records for using accounts registered to someone else in order to place bets.
The DCI acknowledged that this is not a criminal action, but despite authorities backtracking on the charges, athletes and their attorneys have now rallied against the DCI and are questioning the basis and innerworkings of their investigation.
Here are a list of the players involved with the DCI's investigation and how they pled to the charges against them:
- Eyioma Uwazurike – pleaded not guilty
- Hunter Dekkers – pled guilty to Underage Gambling
- DeShawn Hanika – pleaded not guilty
- Isaiah Lee – pleaded not guilty
- Jirehl Brock – pleaded not guilty
- Dodge Sauser – pled guilty to Underage Gambling
- Paniro Johnson – pleaded not guilty
- Jake Remsburg – pled guilty to Underage Gambling
- Jeremiah Williams – pleaded not guilty
- Aaron Blom – pled guilty to Underage Gambling
- Gehrig Christensen – pled guilty to Underage Gambling
- Arland Bruce – pled guilty to Underage Gambling
- Aaron Uhlis – pled guilty to Underage Gambling
- Jack Johnson – pled guilty to Underage Gambling
- Reggie Bracy – pled guilty to Underage Gambling
An attorney for former Iowa State Cyclone/current Denver Bronco Eyioma Uwazurike accused DCI Agent Brian Sanger of placing a "warrantless GeoFence" on a University of Iowa dorm, which would be a violation of the students' Constitutional rights, if proven true.
In the motion filed earlier this week, details regarding an interview with DCI Special Agent Mark Ludwick were outlined by Paniro Johnson, a former wrestler at Iowa State. Ludwick said that he was told by a supervisor to interview Johnson about online gambling with the target for the investigation being gambling outlets like DraftKings and FanDuel as opposed to athletes themselves.
Ludwick argued that "the DCI conducted an illegal search of Paniro Johnson's and dozens of others' personal and online account information." This is due to the fact that there was no warrant obtained to gather GeoFence data at the start of the investigation.
This certainly adds a wrinkle to what was already a complex story. With the legalization of sports gambling happening in various states across the country, with 33 states being operational for wagering, every sports league is trying to combat players actively wagering on games with which they're involved. Last summer was busy for the NFL, with several players getting multi-game or even season-long suspensions for betting on games.
For more information, visit Our Quad Cities' website.
Views from the Hawkeyes/Badgers Football Game on 10-14-23
Gallery Credit: Steve Pulaski