Feds seek cash, cars, more from Cedar Rapids marijuana trafficker

Court document details scope of Shaw's drug operation

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man who shipped in BMW vehicles packed with marijuana and flew in multiple pounds of the drug each month from California for the last eight years will now have to forfeit cash and other goods as part of his conviction.

Authorities say Andrew Shaw, 31, was a marijuana supplier to Chris Bagley and the men accused of killing him — Drew Blahnik, 32. and Drew Wagner, 34 — during a fight last December over drug robberies from Shaw.

Shaw was convicted last month of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. He also was convicted in federal court of possession of a firearm by a drug user.

The civil forfeiture complaint filed by federal prosecutors details the large trafficking operation Shaw began in 2010.

Shaw’s property that is subject to forfeiture includes $19,322 in cash; a 2012 Chevrolet Camero SS; a 2003 Ford Mustang GT G; a 2010 GMC Terrain SLT-2; a man’s Rolex Datejust II watch; and six luxury men’s watches.

The items were seized by law enforcement March 26 after a search warrant was obtained for Shaw’s home and business, A Shaw Investments, 1190 Capital Dr. SW in Cedar Rapids.

According to federal law, proceeds from drug trafficking are subject to forfeiture. Shaw told authorities the items seized were either proceeds from his marijuana distribution, property involved in his distribution activity or furnished in exchange for drugs.

Shaw told authorities when he began selling marijuana in 2010, he would receive about 10 pounds of marijuana each week from a source in Minnesota, according to court documents. He paid $3,000 a pound and continued to purchase from this supplier for a couple of years.

During a six-month period in 2012, Shaw said he received about 10 pounds of marijuana a month for $2,000 a pound from a source in Colorado that he would haul back to Iowa in his vehicle.

In 2014, Shaw started receiving marijuana from a source in California, who began flying “significant” amounts of the drug into Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, court documents show.

Shaw paid $100,000 to $200,000 each trip. He would also receive two to eight FedEx boxes a week from California, each containing 10 to 12 pounds of marijuana.

In 2016, Shaw started working with a new California source and received 160 to 200 pounds of marijuana a week. Shaw continued to work with that source until he was arrested in March.

The move into distributing THC cartridges used for vaping began in April 2017, Shaw told authorities. He started with 30 cartridges but worked up to distributing thousands.

Shaw estimated he bought 10,000 cartridges each month at $10 each and sold them for $20 — making about $100,000 profit each month, court documents show.

In addition, the source would ship BMW vehicles full of 160 to 200 pounds of marijuana to Shaw’s business, Shaw told authorities.

In 2018, the California source owned a trucking company with at least four trucks that would deliver marijuana and the THC cartridges, including a 350-pound shipment and 5,000 cartridges, court documents show.

Shaw estimated in the year before his arrest, he sold about 300 pounds of marijuana a month, making about $250 to $300 of profit per pound. Using those estimates, he was bringing in between $75,000 to $90,000 each month.

On March 26, when law enforcement obtained several search warrants for locations associated with Shaw, they recovered $19,322 in cash from a backpack and his wallet after authorities found him hiding in the office building next to his business on Capitol Drive, according to court documents.

During a conversation with authorities at the search, Shaw said he “flips houses.” But he estimated he had made a six-figure income from marijuana sales over the past two years.

Some of the information regarding Shaw’s trafficking came out during his federal detention hearing in April.

It also was at that hearing that details were revealed about why and how Bagley, 31, of Walker, may have been killed.

During interviews, Shaw denied putting out a “hit” on Bagley but admitted to telling others he wanted Bagley assaulted for robbing his business last October and for other drug robberies, authorities said.

Shaw faces a mandatory minimum of five years and possibly up to life in prison on the distribution charge and 10 years on the firearm charge.

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