Bond Denied for Accused Cocaine Manufacturer

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man accused of making cocaine in a hidden room in his basement was denied bond in federal court Wednesday.

U.S. Federal Magistrate Dwane Tinsley said, after a few hours of testimony, that Christopher Ayash, was a flight risk and a danger to the community.

In what is believed to be the first case of manufacturing cocaine in the Southern Court District of West Virginia, Ayash, 47 , is accused of manufacturing cocaine concealing 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.

Earlier this month investigators raided his home, on a private drive in St. Albans. where they found cocaine and devices used to make the drug.

Additionally, dozens of semi-automatic rifles were found, along with gun silencers and books about clandestine labs and how to manufacture cocaine.

Testimony Wednesday also turned to text messages that Federal Prosecutors say Ayash sent to a potential witness in the case.

One read as a part of testimony during the bond hearing said: "Billy is now called ashes, because that is what happens to snitches."

The investigator who read the text went on to testify that Billy, is the late brother of the defendant.

Other testimony included some of Ayash's jailhouse phone calls.

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.

One witness testified that Ayash is was a strong supporter of youth athletics and of his church activities.

Another called him a "gentle giant."

Magistrate Tinsley said that "in itself was not enough," and also cited that Ayash was a frequent traveler and had the financial means to leave town.

Tinsley said that "guns and drugs don't go together," and that more charges could potentially be coming in this case and if he is found guilty he will be in jail for a long time.

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