A TALENTED chef who worked at some of Sydney's most exclusive hotels and restaurants fell into drug addiction, moved back to the Hunter and began supplying large quantities of MDMA from his Soldiers Point unit, Newcastle District Court has heard.
Together chef Alexander Towning and his "business partner" golf course employee Luke Brabant supplied nearly 450 grams of MDMA at Anna Bay, Williamtown, Beresfield and Sydney between June and August, 2019.
It was Brabant who liaised with and met the customers, who all turned out to be undercover police officers, arranging a quantity and price before heading over to Towning's unit in Mitchell Street to collect the vacuum-sealed bags of MDMA.
Police had established Strike Force Toongahra in May, 2019, to investigate the supply of MDMA in the Hunter and were conducting electronic and physical surveillance of Brabant, according to an agreed statement of facts.
On June 12, Brabant supplied a total of 140 grams of MDMA to an undercover police officer for $8900.
The supply took place over two meetings, first at Williamtown McDonald's and then at the Caltex service station at Anna Bay, with Brabant monitored by electronic and physical surveillance visiting Towning's unit in between.
On July 15, Brabant arranged for a woman, Carly Beck, to collect 140 grams of MDMA from Towning's unit and drive it to Sydney where she handed it over to an undercover police officer who paid her $9000.
Towning, who remains behind bars, pleaded guilty to three counts of knowingly take part in the supply of a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug.
He gave evidence about his downward spiral from accomplished chef to drug addict and MDMA supplier on Monday and will be sentenced on Wednesday.
Brabant, who was granted bail in April on a number of strict conditions including a $500,000 surety, will be sentenced in November.