The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

DCI agent in gambling probe allegedly conducted investigations without warrant

Lawyers for Iowa State defensive lineman Isaiah Lee made the claim in a court filing Monday.
Lillie Hawker
Photo illustration by Lillie Hawker.

Special agent Brian Sanger of the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Division of Criminal Investigations allegedly conducted his investigations into illegal student-athlete gambling without a warrant, according to court documents.

Amid a probe into illegal student-athlete sports betting, the DCI charged 15 current and former UI and ISU athletes.

Sixth-year defensive tackle Noah Shannon has not been criminally charged and was 21 years old, the legal gambling age in Iowa, when he bet. He allegedly bet on one Iowa basketball game, and the NCAA suspended him for the entire 2023 season. 

In a filing Monday, lawyers representing Iowa State football defensive lineman Isaiah Lee wrote that DCI agents monitoring gambling was the result of Sanger conducting a warrantless search on the University of Iowa and ISU campuses.

“He initially used Kibana to place a warrantless GeoFence around a freshman/sophomore dorm at the University of Iowa to investigate underage gambling without any tips, complaints, or evidence that underage gambling was occurring,” Lee’s lawyers wrote.

Kibana is a software used for data visualization. A geofence is a virtual fence or perimeter that can be used to track digital movement within its boundaries.

The lawyers continue by writing that Sanger’s superiors denied him when he approached them requesting permission to continue the investigation. 

According to the filing, Sanger then targeted a UI athletic facility that is restricted to athletes, coaches, and other staff, again doing so without a warrant. When he asked his superiors for approval, they gave it, but the agents proceeded to then target other facilities and private citizens without reasonable cause.

Sanger had a deposition on Jan. 19, during which he said he couldn’t remember why he conducted a warrantless search but also said he was concerned people could infiltrate Iowa’s sports teams to gain insider information or match-fixing.

Sanger also said only athletes using an account registered to a different person were charged and athletes who had gambled on accounts with their names were “handled administratively,” according to the filing.

Lee’s lawyers wrote the defense had received information that proved that was false, and claimed that high-profile athletes had been targeted.

The defense continues by writing it had made an open records request to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission regarding the probe due to a lack of information. It also asked for email communications and a list of all the gambling accounts subpoenaed, among others.

The lawyers concluded that the courts should produce the requested information as Lee had a constitutional right.

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About the Contributor
Alejandro Rojas
Alejandro Rojas, News Editor
Alejandro Rojas is The Daily Iowan's news editor. He previously worked as a news reporter covering Johnson County and was the summer executive editor in 2023. He is a senior, double majoring in journalism and political science.