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Iowa gambling investigation: “If they are suspended, or have their scholarship taken away then so be it”

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Emails released this week to the Associated Press reveal that an Iowa criminal investigator has lost his moral compass. He is concerned more with gaining attention than following rules.

The emails shed new light on the motivations behind at least one investigator in the investigation surrounding the arrest and suspension of college athletes.

According to the AP, an Iowa gambling investigation would “bring attention to our unit not only to the public, but to the commissioner, and possibly even the legislatures.” Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Chris Adkins wrote to his colleagues in a email in 2023.

These emails shed light on a case that is beginning to look like a power abuse. The final result of the investigation was the criminal prosecution of dozens of University of Iowa athletes or NCAA sanctions.

The investigation could have cost some players their chance at a professional career, including former Iowa State quarterback Hunter Dekkers.

The investigators have a plan

Dekkers was banned by the NCAA for placing approximately 366 bets. Among them, 26 were placed on Iowa State football teams. Dekkers placed 297 wagers before he turned 21. In Iowa, sports betting is allowed for anyone over 21. NCAA violations also apply to student-athletes who bet. In every sport it’s considered a serious offense to wager on one’s own team.

A request for open records by the AP provided the latest information on the Iowa gambling investigation. Investigators’ agenda is revealed in the e-mails.

Adkins wrote an e-mail saying, “If it means they’re suspended or lose their scholarship then so be.”

He wrote in another letter that “on cases like this where there will be more attention, we can prove our value to the powers-that-be along with sending a warning out that we will oversee things and hopefully, work on slowing these types of things down in the future.

We can then use this as an opportunity to push for changes in the code.

Iowa’s betting investigation began in advance of 2023 football season. Department of Criminal Investigations staff allegedly misused GeoComply’s data and geolocation tools. Investigators did not obtain warrants to track betting activities in dorms or athletic facilities at Iowa State and Iowa State.

GeoComply is a geolocation service based in Vancouver that has tools for tracking bets. Washington Post reports that it shared a tool which allowed Iowa criminal investigators track clusters in betting activities. The tool was not used in accordance with any policies. The investigators could have broken state laws in the way they used them.

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