Usually when you hear about the manufacturing of cocaine, it is based in Latin American countries, such as Colombia, Peru or Bolivia. However, a case coming out of West Virginia is focusing on a cocaine manufacturer based in the United States, more specifically, West Virginia.
The case of Christopher Ayash, 47, is said to be the first of its kind in the Southern Court District of West Virginia. Never before have they dealt with an alleged cocaine manufacturer. Last week, Ayash turned himself in after a federal search warrant was served at his St. Albans home. Federal and local law enforcement officers descended on the house, flanked by helicopters and armored vehicles. Upon a search of the house, authorities found, “a room behind a moveable wall that had a fireplace facade. According to testimony the fireplace laid flat against the wall but the whole basement wall moved.” Inside the concealed room, the cops found a functional cocaine laboratory. The findings included sulfuric acid, kerosene and funnels, all items used in the production of cocaine. Cocaine powder was also found throughout the house, along with “dozens of semi-automatic rifles were found, along with gun silencers and books about clandestine labs and how to manufacture cocaine.”
Ayash may face harsher charges based on text messages obtained. One text included the message, “Billy is now called ashes, because that is what happens to snitches.” According to an investigator, “Billy” is Ayash’s deceased brother. Jailhouse phone records show the following, according to WSAZ News Channel 3:
He told someone that they needed to remove gold, silver and cash packages from a safety deposit box.
He also told someone that he would have never turned himself in to investigators had he known he would have been detained.
During a bond hearing on Wednesday, witnesses described Ayash as a “gentle giant” that supported youth athletics and his church. He also owns several legitimate businesses, including Hardcore Labs LLC and Felonious Investments LLC, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail. However, U.S. Federal Magistrate Dwane Tinsley,the judge presiding over the proceeding denied Ayash bond, claiming that he is “a flight risk and a danger to the community,” citing that Ayash “was a frequent traveler and had the financial means to leave town.”