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The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) has been under intense scrutiny since it investigated sports betting violations at Iowa and Iowa State universities. This week, the DPS decided to defend its actions in a written statement about its investigation tactics.
The issue began in 2023 when the Iowa DPS revealed they had discovered over 40 sports betting violations from student-athletes at Iowa and Iowa State. However, lawyers for the athletes implicated argue the DPS performed warrantless searches during the investigation. They believe that the investigation tracking the use of sports betting apps on their phone violated the athlete's privacy. They also believe that the DPS pulled account information for hundreds of people without reasonable cause, which is a violation that could void all judgments against the student-athletes involved.
Active investigations are rarely discussed, but the Iowa DPS made an exception due to the serious accusations. The department released a written statement explaining the investigation and refuting claims from the defendants' lawyers.
"The Department traditionally does not comment on active investigations or litigation in an effort to ensure these matters are appropriately addressed by our justice system rather than the media," the statement reads. "We believe the evidence was obtained in a constitutionally permissible manner. Ultimately, it is up to the courts to decide."
While we await more details about the allegations, the Iowa DPS response shows their seriousness.
In addition to being accused of improper tactics during the investigation, the Iowa DPS is also accused of lying to its agents. One instance was when the DPS dispatched agents to interview some students involved in the scandals.
The agents claim they were told this was an administrative visit, with operators like DraftKings as the target of the investigation. The agents then went to interview the athletes without realizing they were the actual targets of the investigation.
When conducting the interviews, an agent named Mark Ludwick realized that the students being interviewed were the target of the investigation.
"Contrary to representations made to him and other Special Agents that morning, Special Agent Ludwick realized the purpose of the investigation was criminal in nature, with the sole targets being male Division I student-athletes at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University," Defense attorney Christopher Sandy wrote. "Special Agent Ludwick advised his superiors that he would no longer participate in the investigation and requested reassignment."
Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.More info on Michael Savio
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