Another drug arrest linked to Chris Bagley's death investigation

No charges yet for Bagley's fatal stabbing

Investigators, including the state medical examiner, work the scene at 4069 Soutter Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids on Friday,
Investigators, including the state medical examiner, work the scene at 4069 Soutter Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids on Friday, March 1, 2019. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A fourth man has been arrested in connection with an alleged large-scale marijuana trafficker, who was robbed by Christopher Bagley — an incident believed to have led to Bagley’s fatal stabbing.

However, there still have been no charges filed in direct connection to Bagley’s death.

A search warrant affidavit obtained by The Gazette on Wednesday shows Ryan Gebhart, 29, of Shellsburg, was the unidentified man with Andrew Shaw when Shaw’s business was searched by authorities March 26. Shaw is charged with possession of a firearm by a drug user, and federal agents testified that he runs a large-scale drug trafficking operation.

During Shaw’s detention hearing April 1, testimony from federal agents detailed how 31-year-old Bagley of Walker may have been killed over a robbery at Shaw’s business in October.

Gebhart was charged Friday in Linn County District Court with possession of a controlled substance, a serious misdemeanor.

In an April 2 interview, investigators learned that Gebhart’s residence, 1051 Daniels St. NE in Cedar Rapids, had been rented for the month of March by Shaw, the warrant shows. Another man, who is connected to Shaw’s trafficking operation but hasn’t been arrested, owns the house, according to the warrant.

During a search of the house, Gebhart told investigators there were vaping cartridges filled with THC oil in the house and also in a safe, according to the warrant. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

After Gebhart gave officers consent to search the house, they smelled marijuana coming from the basement and found piles of gummy candies made with THC scattered on a table at the bottom of the stairs and multiple tool cases filled with packages of THC cartridges, the warrant shows.

Gebhart opened the safe that also contained a large number of THC cartridges similar to those found during previous search warrants in this case, according to the warrant.

Investigators found stacks of molds used to manufacture the THC candies in the kitchen, the warrant states. There was no furniture in the house, except for in Gebhart’s bedroom.

Gebhart admitted that he would bring gelatin from Shaw’s shop, 1190 Capital Drive SW, back to the house on Daniels Street and pour the molds at the “direction of Shaw,” the warrant shows.

Gebhart also told investigators they would find a loaded shotgun in the front room of the house, according to the warrant. An investigator found .223 caliber rifle rounds in the kitchen and asked Gebhart if there were any other weapons in the house, but he became “agitated” and said he was done answering questions, the warrant shows. Gebhart was then arrested and taken to the Linn County Jail.

Shaw, 30, of Cedar Rapids, was charged last week with possession of a firearm by a drug user. Authorities, during a search of his house and business March 26, recovered firearms, ammunition, cartridges with THC oil for vaping, thousands of molds to make THC edibles, buckets of gelatin for the edibles and large amounts of cash, a warrant shows.

Drew Blahnik, 31, of Marion, the man who admitted to federal agents that he stabbed Bagley, was indicted in U.S. District Court last week for possession of a firearm by a drug user, but not for Bagley’s death. He is accused of being an unlawful user of cocaine and methamphetamine while possessing a Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun and multiple rounds of ammunition on Feb. 25.

Blahnik is also charged in Linn County District Court for possession with intent to deliver marijuana on Feb. 25.

Blahnik and Drew Wagner, who hasn’t been charged, told federal agents they confronted Bagley about his drug robberies from Shaw, who was the drug supplier for each of them, according to testimony during Shaw’s detention hearing April 1. Wagner and Bagley started fighting, and Blahnik stabbed Bagley, as Wagner had him pinned against a wall.

Wagner and Blahnik told authorities they thought Bagley had a gun, according to testimony.

Special Agent Michael Kitsmiller with the Federal Bureau of Investigation testified that Paul Hoff, 40 of Cedar Rapids, who is also charged with firearms and drugs, said the stabbing happened at his mobile home Dec. 14.

Wagner and Blahnik loaded Bagley into a vehicle after the stabbing and took him to Wagner’s home, 4069 Soutter Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids, where they buried his body, Kitsmiller said.

Bagley’s body was recovered March 1 by authorities.

An autopsy showed Bagley died of “sharp-force injuries,” indicating a fatal stabbing by a knife or other sharp object.

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