Player Attorneys File Motion To Suppress In Iowa Sports Betting Probe

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Iowa sports betting

Attorneys for four Iowa State University student-athletes charged in the ongoing Iowa sports betting probe filed a motion to suppress all evidence on Tuesday, due to “illegal search and seizure.”

Ex-Iowa State football players Eyioma Uwazurike, Isaiah Lee and Jirehl Brock, and wrestler Paniro Johnson, were all charged with identity theft and tampering with records.

According to the motion, the charges were “as a result of an illegal search executed within the geofenced area.” 

The motion also seeks further relief for the defendants in the Iowa sports betting probe, “including, but not limited to the dismissal of this matter due to the violations of Defendant’s constitutional and due process rights.” 

Issues with Iowa sports betting probe

Attorney Van Plumb represents Uwazurike and Lee. Last month, Plumb filed a motion accusing a Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) special agent of conducting a “warrantless search.”

According to that filing, DCI special agent Brian Sanger used a monitoring tool called Kibana

As stated in Tuesday’s motion: 

“On January 25, 2024 GeoComply sent the letter of their intent to disable access of Kibana to the DCI. The letter confirmed that at IRGC’s direction Geocomply provided certain members of the Iowa DCI access to Kibana on the understanding that such tools would be used for limited-scope purposes, and that it had come to their attention that DCI may have exceeded the intended outlined scope of its Kibana access-and-use privileges . GeoComply informed IRGC that DCI’s access to Kibana would be disabled effective January 26, 2024.” 

‘Kibana tool was unreasonable search’

The motion goes on to state that Sanger using Kibana represented an unreasonable search and/or seizure.

“Without Agent Sanger’s unlawful use of the Kibana tool the defendants would never have been targeted by law enforcement, and the subsequent subpoenas and search warrants would never have been issued.”  

DCI agent says he was ‘misled’

DCI special agent Mark Ludwick testified last month that he was “misled” as to the purpose of the probe.

Ludwick interviewed Lee under the premise that “no adverse or communal consequence would be forthcoming.” However, after the interview, Ludwick’s superior “congratulated” him for “obtaining a confession.” 

“As a DCI Special Agent with more than 25 years of criminal investigations ranging from major crimes to illicit gambling activity, Special Agent Mark Ludwick concluded that DCI conducted an illegal search of Iowa student athletes and dozens of others’ personal online account information because the agency did not obtain a GeoFence Warrant as well as lacked reasonable, articulable suspicion to conduct such a search,” the filing’s summary said.