CHRIS BAGLEY

Details of Chris Bagley's death revealed during court hearing

Investigators, including the state medical examiner, work the scene in the 4000 block of Soutter Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids on Friday, March 1, 2019. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Investigators, including the state medical examiner, work the scene in the 4000 block of Soutter Avenue SE in Cedar Rapids on Friday, March 1, 2019. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Christopher Bagley was stabbed to death during a fight over the robbery of a large-scale marijuana trafficker in Cedar Rapids, according to an investigator who testified Monday during a detention hearing.

The federal court hearing for Andrew Shaw, 30, related to charges of possession of a firearm by a drug user, but testimony from a federal agent revealed details of what may have happened to Bagley, who was found dead and buried last month after going missing since December.

During interviews with authorities, Shaw told an investigator that he didn’t put out a “hit” on Bagley, as witnesses told authorities, but he admitted to telling others he wanted Bagley assaulted for robbing his business last October and other alleged drug robberies.

There are many unknowns surrounding the death of 31-year-old Christopher Bagley of Walker, who went missing for 76 days before authorities found his body buried March 1 in southeast Cedar Rapids.

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Special Agent Michael Kitsmiller of the Federal Bureau of Investigation testified Monday that Shaw and Bagley were friends but after some drug “rips” — robberies — Shaw admitted their relationship “was not good.” On Oct. 27, Bagley, 31, and Paul Hoff, 40, of Cedar Rapids — who also faces firearms and drug charges — broke into Shaw’s business and stole an assault rifle, THC cartridges and a laptop, and then beat up Shaw, Kitsmiller said. Shaw sent Bagley a text message retrieved by one of Bagley’s relatives after he went missing that said “People go missing every day” and warned Bagley to not threaten him.

Kitsmiller said there also was a drug robbery from an apartment in Marion where Bagley stayed, and Bagley told Shaw he needed to give him $20,000 to keep him out of it.

Hoff, after his arrest, told authorities Bagley was at his mobile home Dec. 14 — the last day Bagley was seen alive — and Drew Wagner and Drew Blahnik, who both sold marijuana for Shaw, said they were coming over after learning Bagley was there, Kitsmiller said. Wagner confronted Bagley about the robberies and the two started fighting. Blahnik then took out a knife and stabbed Bagley, Kitsmiller said.

Blahnik has not been charged in Bagley’s death but faces unrelated charges of possession of a firearm by a drug user.

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Wagner, who hasn’t been charged, told investigators he had Bagley pinned against a wall and Blahnik stabbed Bagley twice, Kitsmiller said. Wagner also said he was accidentally stabbed in the hand during the incident, Kitsmiller said.

Blahnik told investigators he stabbed Bagley because Bagley had a gun, Kitsmiller said. Blahnik said he didn’t see it but Wagner yelled “gun, gun” to warn him, Kitsmiller said.

Kitsmiller said Hoff claimed there was no gun.

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

Shaw told authorities he didn’t pay anybody to target Bagley but he said Wagner and Blahnik asked him for money after the stabbing, Kitsmiller said. Shaw denied paying them.

Kitsmiller said all three men told different details of what happened that night.

Another investigator, Adam Cirkl, an officer with the Marion Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration task force in Cedar Rapids, testified that investigations into Shaw’s drug trafficking began in 2017. Authorities had a confidential informant buy 3 pounds of marijuana from Shaw at his business, A Shaw Investments at 1190 Capital Drive SW in Cedar Rapids, where a search was conducted last week.

Cirkl testified that large packages of marijuana sent from California were tracked back to Shaw. The packages, sent through Fed Ex in 2017 and in January and February of this year, were sent to various addresses and eventually picked up by another man, who hasn’t been charged, and delivered to Shaw’s business.

Cirkl said this activity led to searches last week at Shaw’s business and home, 1419 Grizzly Drive NW. Authorities found a CZ Scorpion EVO 3 S1 9 mm rifle and two loaded magazines in the garage of Shaw’s home, the warrant shows. Within a few feet of the rifle, law enforcement found several THC cartridges, which contained THC oil for vaping, and in a locked safe was a loaded New England Firearms 12-gauge shotgun.

They also recovered $35,000 in cash from Shaw’s home, Cirkl said.

At Shaw’s business, authorities found molds to make THC “gummies,” empty cartridges, drying racks for the molds and packaging, Cirkl said. They also found 20 buckets of gelatin to make the THC gummies, which are edible candies that contain the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

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Cirkl said the door to Shaw’s business was braced on the inside by 2-by-4-foot boards to prevent anyone from entering. Officers and agents found Shaw hiding inside with a bag of about $10,000 in cash.

Authorities also seized six vehicles valued at $30,000 or more, Shaw’s Rolex watch valued at $21,500, along with six other watches valued at $43,000.

Cirkl said Shaw admitted to making about $60,000 a year in his “legitimate” business — flipping houses, which wouldn’t support his vehicles or watches. But Shaw also admitted to making a six-figure income from drug trafficking.

During Monday’s hearing, U.S. Magistrate Mark Roberts ruled that Shaw will remain in jail pending trial and said there was probable cause to go forward with the drug charge against him. Testimony shows Shaw used firearms during his drug transactions and that he has shown violence toward others.

Roberts also said Shaw is a flight risk based on his financial resources and he could be a “significant” danger if released pending trial.

Bagley’s father, Stewart Bagley, who was in the courtroom Monday along with many family members and friends, said he was happy the details of what happened to his son came out in court. He has known about what happened for some time but couldn’t talk about it.

“As I have stated before, two weeks prior to Chris going missing he came clean to the family about his activities and he was trying to make a break from that lifestyle,” Stewart Bagley said. “Today was a great step forward for getting justice of Chris and I’m very anxious for the murder charges to be filed against anybody and everybody involved.”

Bagley’s body was found March 1 buried in the yard at 4069 Soutter Ave. SE in Cedar Rapids.

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

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

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