Ex-Radio Presenter Facing Charges over $600k Drug Bust in Sydney

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Ashley Norman Hall, a former radio presenter for ABC, is facing serious charges following a sting operation where he allegedly attempted to sell drugs to an undercover police officer. The accused was busted with narcotics worth an estimated $600,000.

Hall, who did not physically present himself at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court, stands accused of 23 charges. Key among them is eight counts of providing a sizable quantity of a prohibited substance in a commercial operation.

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The ex-executive producer of the AM program, one of the national broadcaster’s flagship radio shows, is said to have leveraged hotel rooms in Sydney CBD as the headquarters for extensive narcotic dealings, according to police allegations.

In an investigation into suspected drug rings in CBD, specialist officers apprehended Hall in late 2022. In a simultaneous move, law enforcement officers conducted dual raids on hotel rooms situated on Bond and Wentworth streets.

During the hearing on Thursday, Hall’s legal representative, Patrick Alvaro, informed the court that they were in the process of soliciting public legal aid and requested for adjournment. The goal was to help Hall, who is currently being held in remand, navigate the committal process and seek legal counsel.

Magistrate Clare Farnan acceded to the request but did not conceal her impatience with the multiple delays, noting that the issue has been up for committal five times already and urged that it “must proceed” in the upcoming month. Previously, the court granted adjournment after learning that Sharon Ramsden, a Sydney solicitor, no longer represented Hall.

Hall’s alleged co-conspirators, whose identities have yet to be divulged, are already undergoing verdict at the District Court in Sydney, marking the ultimate phase of the committal process.

Hall had tried and failed to secure bail on medical grounds. His claim of requiring a hernia surgery coupled with instances of assault in prison was not deemed sufficient for release. Moreover, the court was informed of evidence alleging that Hall had sold drugs to an undercover cop with police describing the case against him as “very strong”.

During the raids, law enforcement officers reportedly found a horde of prohibited substances, including MDMA tablets, cocaine, 700g of methamphetamine, and over 1kg of cannabis. Prior to his abrupt exit from ABC, Hall worked in various capacities, including that of a reporter, presenter for ABC Local Radio, AM’s executive producer, PM, and The World Today.

Hall is due to reappear before the court for further proceedings regarding committal on October 26.