CHRIS BAGLEY

Man involved in Chris Bagley's death arrested on drug charges

Drew Wagner held without bail

Drew Wagner
Drew Wagner

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man, who federal authorities say was involved in Christopher Bagley’s death last December, was arrested Thursday on drug charges.

Drew Wagner, 33, of Cedar Rapids, faces possession with intent to deliver and drug tax stamp violation charges. He is being held at the Linn County Jail without bail.

Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden didn’t return an email for comment late Thursday.

Wagner, along with six others with connections to the Bagley case — including one who confessed to fatally stabbing him — have been arrested on firearms and drug charges in state and federal court but not for his death.

According to testimony from a federal agent, Wagner was fighting with Bagley on Dec. 14, and another man, Drew Blahnik, stabbed Bagley as Wagner pinned Bagley against a wall.

The agent testified April 1 during a detention hearing how 31-year-old Bagley may have been killed after stealing marijuana and other items months earlier from Andrew Shaw, 30, of Cedar Rapids, who authorities say is a large-scale marijuana trafficker. Shaw faces federal firearms charges.

During that hearing, Special Agent Michael Kitsmiller of the Federal Bureau of Investigation testified that Shaw reported Bagley and Paul Hoff, 40, of Cedar Rapids, broke into his business Oct. 27 and stole an assault rifle, THC cartridges and a laptop, and then beat up Shaw.

Shaw later sent Bagley a text message, which was retrieved by his wife, Courtney Bagley, and given to authorities after he went missing, that said “People go missing every day” and warned Bagley not to threaten him.

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Kitsmiller said Shaw denied putting out a “hit” on Bagley, as witnesses told authorities, but admitted he told others he wanted Bagley beaten for robbing his shop and other drug thefts.

Kitsmiller said Blahnik, 32, who is charged with firearms and drugs, confessed to stabbing Bagley during a fight on Dec. 14. Wagner and Blahnik confronted Bagley about robbing Shaw, who supplied drugs to all three, he said.

Wagner then started fighting with Bagley, and Blahnik stabbed Bagley as Wagner pinned him against a wall, Kitsmiller said.

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

The stabbing happened in the Cedar Rapids mobile home belonging to Paul Hoff, 40, who also faces firearms charges, Kitsmiller said.

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

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.

Stewart Bagley said Thursday this “is not the arrest his family is looking for but it is a start.”

“(Wagner) needs to be in jail and off the streets,” he said.

Stewart Bagley told The Gazette earlier this month that his family is frustrated because it’s been two months since his son’s body was found and five months since his death, but nobody has been charged.

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Sheriff Brian Gardner said a few weeks ago the investigation was completed and turned over to Vander Sanden for his review.

Vander Sanden said it may take some time before charges are filed. He pointed out the sheriff’s office isn’t the only agency involved in the investigation — it also is being investigated at the federal level because those connected to the case are involved in drug crimes.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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