Iowa Drops Gambling Charges Against Bronco’s Eyioma Uwazurike

  • Defense lawyers dropped the case stating the DCI investigation crossed the line
  • GeoComply stated the DCI used its Kibana software beyond its intended purpose
  • Uwazurike’s attorney was going to cross-examine Sanger in a hearing this week
Iowa State University
Attorneys filed a motion with Iowa to drop the gambling charges against Eyioma Uwazurike and three other student athletes. [Image:]

Charges against four athletes dropped

Iowa has dropped the gambling charges against Denver Broncos defensive lineman Eyioma Uwazurike and three other Iowa State University (ISU) student athletes citing investigative errors.

Broncos Dominion took to X to share the news that Uwazurike is eligible to apply for reinstatement to the NFL in July:

Prosecutors, led by Assistant Story County attorney Benjamin Matchan, agreed to drop controversial criminal charges against Uwazurike, Jirehl Brock, Paniro Johnson, and Isaiah Lee.

Matchan filed a motion his office wanted to drop the case. According to the Des Moines Register, Matchan et al did not want to prosecute the case after receiving evidence the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) crossed the line in its investigation.

Matchan stated his office wanted to drop the charges after attorneys for the defendants, headed by Van Plumb, released an email from GeoComply to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC).

GeoComply’s email to the IRGC accused the DCI of using it’s software “inappropriately.”

GeoComply takes a stand

Van Plumb and his team cited a January 26 email from GeoComply’s Government Relations Director Gabrielle Angle. Angle wrote the IRGC that her firm would axe the DCI’s access to its data gathering software because “the DCI may have exceeded its intended and outlined scope of its Kibana access-and-use privileges.”

A motion filed on January 22 by Van Plumb accused the DCI of launching a “warrantless” investigation that went after Uwazurike and Iowa State University (ISU) and University of Iowa (UI) athletes “without reasonable cause.”

used Kibana to GeoFence buildings on ISU and UI campuses

In a January 31 statement, the DCI wrote that its agents “conferred with legal counsel” before Agent Brian Sanger used Kibana to GeoFence buildings on ISU and UI campuses to uncover underage gamblers using online betting apps.

The DCI’s statement read: “The evidence was obtained in a constitutionally permissible manner.”

Van Plumb, however, told ESPN last month that Sanger used Kibana to “access people’s private information without a warrant,” and that this raised Constitutional issues around unlawful searches and seizures.

According to the Register, Matchan’s team filed the motion to drop the charges partly “to suppress the evidence Sanger used Kibana to gather.”

Not what is says on the tin

GeoComply made itself clear that Kibana was not an investigative product, and that it was designed primarily to ensure bets get placed only in legally approved sports betting jurisdictions.

Van Plumb, who represents Uwazurike and Lee, said he had planned to cross-examine Sanger in a hearing scheduled for this week.

no longer believes further prosecution in this matter is in the interests of justice”

The DCI’s defense attorneys have stopped that from happening, filing the motion to drop the case plus demanding prosecutors hand over Sanger’s Kibana search evidence. Matchan’s motion read Iowa “no longer believes further prosecution in this matter is in the interests of justice.”

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