Charges Dropped Against Paniro Johnson, Ex-ISU Athletes In Gambling Probe

The state of Iowa dismissed charges Friday against Iowa State wrestler Paniro Johnson and three former Cyclone athletes implicated in the state Division of Criminal Investigation’s sports wagering probe. 

Johnson and former Iowa State football players Jirehl Brock, Isaiah Lee and Enyi Uwazuirke had been charged with identity theft and tampering with records. Prosecutors filed to drop the charges on Friday. 

“We alleged two different things — one that they violated the student-athletes’ rights by doing a warrantless search using Kibana,” Van Plumb, an attorney for the athletes said Friday during an interview on the Murph and Andy radio show in Des Moines. “But more importantly, we alleged that from day one that there were terms of use for the DCI in using Kibana and they violated those terms of use. 

“What that means is they had rules they were supposed to follow to use Kibana and they violated the rules that were set out for them. The state has always denied that, but within the last week to Matt Boles, Sandy Law Firm and myself, we were able to gain information that showed that Kibana was taken away from the DCI to where they can never use it again because they feel (DCI) agent (Brian) Sanger and the DCI violated their terms of use.” 

Johnson was one of more than 40 Iowa State and Unversity of Iowa athletes across several sports under investigation in the state sports wagering probe. The 2023 Big 12 champion has compiled a 10-1 record this season as a sophomore while competing unattached.  

“There will be a civil suit coming, not only for the young men who were involved in the Iowa State cases (but) several others),” Plumb said on the Murph and Andy Show.  

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