Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Crack Oueens; Gang Behind a Multi Million Pound Empire

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Crack Oueens; Gang Behind a Multi Million Pound Empire

Article excerpt

Byline: ROSS LYDALL

THESE are the crack queens who for years ran a multimillion pound drugs empire across London.

Along with two men, they formed a gang which masterminded the capital's 12 most notorious crack dens. Their pictures were released today after a judge banned them from part of London for life.

Georgette Williams, 41, dubbed the "Queen of Crack", was spotted by police visiting the drug dens 101 times. She has convictions for supplying crack cocaine, possession of weapons and violence, and police also have 338 records of her being involved in drug-related activity between May 1999 and October last year.

The women transported the crack from its place of manufacture to the dens.

They would conceal pound sterling700-pound sterling1,000 worth internally and, as the police were unable to conduct intimate searches without their consent, they were able to pass from house to house with arrogance and assurance.

Williams's female accomplices are prostitutes Joanne Dowling, 30, who is pregnant and Theresa Chase, 36, a mother of five children who are all in care.

Dowling has three separate convictions for possession of Class A drugs and was seen at the venues 15 times. Chase has more than 150 convictions, mainly for

soliciting but also for possession of heroin. Local council officials and police went to the High Court to seek the banning orders after the gang terrorised the areas where they established dens - often by targeting vulnerable council tenants such as the mentally ill or the disabled.

The landmark court ruling, which comes into effect today, came only after police and council surveillance revealed the scale of their criminal activities.

At one crack den, a one-bedroom maisonette, 340 visitors were seen entering and leaving over a 24-hour period. Officers estimate their activities netted them about pound sterling6,800 a day, or pound sterling2.5 million a year the equivalent turnover of a branch of McDonald's - based on each of the 340 visitors buying one rock of crack at pound sterling20.

For months police watched 12 crack houses in north Kensington, including two flats in a Notting Hill tower block once raided by abseiling police officers. …

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