New York State Trooper Caught in Illegal Sports Gambling Probe, Feds say
A former State Trooper allegedly tipped off people involved in an illegal sports gambling ring while he was a police officer.
Once an essential part of policing the western district of New York, former New York State Trooper Thomas J. Loewke has found himself on the wrong side of the law according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York and is now facing years behind bars.
New York State Trooper Thomas J. Loewke Arrested
51-year-old Loewke was officially charged in federal on January 6th court with tipping off targets of an illegal sports gambling ring investigation while he was a police officer according to the attorney's office. Loewke was charged with obstructing state and local law enforcement investigations and could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted according to the Syracuse website.
Illegal Sports Gambling Investigation
Back in 2020, Tropper Loewke was a sergeant with state police in Rochester and was illegally placing sports bets according to prosecutors, he retired in October 2021. In December 2020, an investigation began targeting a Rochester-based gambling operation that allegedly made millions of dollars in profits from online gamblers. The investigation focused on the website sport700.com which according to authorities was an illegal bookmaking operation that allegedly had thousands of active betting accounts that generated more than $10 million in profits.
Investigators said they looked into multiple targets throughout the investigation and while focusing on two targets, officials overheard a phone call between them. The phone call had "Target 1" saying, " a trooper named TJ had tipped him off about the ongoing probe". Prosecutors also said, "the targets talked about changing passwords and erasing betting history on the website to avoid being caught."
Trooper Tells Another Trooper About Investigation
Prosecutors say that on December 17th, 2020, a state trooper that was doing maintenance on a computer of a senior investigator involved in the gambling investigation accessed and read sensitive documents regarding the investigation. The documents allegedly had Target 1′s name in plain view and other important information. Records show that the trooper working on the computer needed to swipe a card to access the investigator’s office and that they entered the office three times in the morning and again in the afternoon of 12/17.
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That same day prosecutors say that cell phone records showed that the trooper sent text messages and made two calls to a phone number that has been linked to Trooper Loewke with one message saying, "Call me ASAP". The unnamed trooper did admit that they told Loewke about the investigation.
Prosecutors didn't reveal if that trooper was disciplined or charged with any crime. They also didn't fully disclose Loewke’s involvement in the ring or how he tipped off members but did say that Loewke made his initial appearance in federal court Tuesday 1/10 and was released with a future court date.