Iowa State Players’ Attorney Seeks to Invalidate Warrantless Probe

A group of Iowa State and Iowa athletes were involved in an investigation last year that revealed their alleged participation in gambling activities, including betting on their own teams and underage gambling. Some of the athletes admitted guilt, but faced different charges based on their involvement in the gambling activities, which are prohibited.

Now, attorney Van Plumb, representing Isaiah Lee and other Iowa State football athletes, filed a motion on Monday alleging issues with the depositions of agents from Iowa’s Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI). Plumb claimed that a DCI agent conducted a “warrantless” investigation that led to charges against several athletes.

According to the motion, DCI special agent Brian Sanger was granted access to Kibana, an analytics software tool, on January 19, 2024. This tool allowed him to analyze online sports wagering applications within a specific area, known as “GeoFence.” The motion argues that this was an unwarranted search on the campuses of Iowa and Iowa State.

Sanger reportedly claimed to not remember why he engaged in these actions, but the motion states that he was concerned about the possibility of individuals infiltrating Iowa’s professional sports team to obtain insider information for match-fixing.

The motion further explained that the special agent conducted the “warrantless search” without any prior information, complaints, or tips about potential underage gambling incidents. Sanger allegedly focused on the University of Iowa’s athletic facility without receiving any tips, complaints, or warrants regarding illegal gambling.

After obtaining information about the facility, the special agent requested approval from the DCI’s assistant director to conduct an investigation. The motion claims that without reasonable cause, the team of special agents targeted more facilities and began requesting subpoenas to obtain account information on hundreds of private citizens, also without reasonable cause.