State police sergeant tipped off owners of illegal online gambling biz about probe, feds say – Buffalo News

State police sergeant tipped off owners of illegal online gambling biz about probe, feds say – Buffalo News

A retired New York State Police sergeant is facing federal charges after prosecutors say he tipped off the owners of an illegal online sports betting ring based in Rochester that it was under investigation.

Sgt. Thomas J. Loewke tipped off co-conspirators who “conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed and owned an illegal gambling business” that brought in illegal profits of more than $10 million during a five-year period ending in 2021, prosecutors said in a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo.

In the last 10 years in WNY, state police troopers have been accused of myriad wrongdoing. None of the troopers lost their jobs, even those who abused their authority.

While in-person sports betting at licensed casinos has been legal in New York State since 2019, and state lawmakers legalized mobile sports betting in 2022, unlicensed bookmaking of the type Loewke is accused of in court papers remains illegal.

Loewke, who is scheduled to appear in federal court in Rochester on Tuesday, is no longer a member of the State Police, spokesperson William Duffy said. He said Loewke retired from Troop E in October 2021. He declined to comment on the charges. 

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A woman who answered the phone at Loewke’s residence had no immediate comment and said she would pass along a message to Loewke.

Buffalo News investigative reporters Matthew Spina and Charlie Specht have obtained disciplinary records from the New York State Police. They discuss how they obtained the records and what the records show about how the state’s main police agency disciplines its own troopers. Read their story in Sunday’s Buffalo News and on

Charlie Specht

Matthew Spina

U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross declined to comment on the criminal complaint.

A federal Homeland Security Investigations officer assigned to the HSI Buffalo Nickel City Financial Task Force stated in an affidavit filed in court that a federal grand jury, in cooperation with the State Police and local police agencies, has been probing an “illegal bookmaking operation” through the website

A photo of New York State Police Trooper Thomas Loewke that was published on the State Police Facebook page in 2015, when he was honored by the Monroe County Stop-DWI program for making more arrests than any other trooper in Troop E.