Feds: New York State Trooper Bet On The Wrong Team
Legal sports wagering in New York saw about $15 billion in bets placed during the course of its first year in 2022. Still tens of millions of dollars continue to be wagered illegally in the Empire State. Federal prosecutors near Rochester were hunting down members of an illegal sports book ring when they got an unwanted surprise. A New York State Trooper was involved and working for the wrong team.
Last week, former sergeant in the New York State Troopers, Thomas J. Loewke, 51, was charged with obstructing state and local law enforcement investigations. According to Fernando Alba of syracuse.com, the crime happened prior to Loewke retiring in October of 2021. If convicted, the former law enforcement officer could face 20 years in prison for his actions involving a $10 million Rochester-based illegal, on-line gambling ring.
Prosecutors say that during 2020 Loewke was illegally placing sports bets with a person described in syracuse.com as "Target 1." In the process of their investigations, law enforcement officials listened to a phone call between two of the targets. "Target 1" allegedly claimed that a trooper named “TJ” had tipped him off about an ongoing probe. Prosecutors went on to say that the two targets proceed to talk about changing passwords and erasing betting history to avoid prosecution.
In the article, Alba states that another state trooper's involvement was looked at during the investigation. However, no criminal intent seems to be attached to that officer. A Homeland Security agent’s affidavit was used as probable cause to support the charges against Thomas J. Loewke, who appeared in federal court on Tuesday and was released.