IN the surprisingly lucrative Tanilba Bay drug trade she was known as “Queen Bee”.
An ambitious and prolific drug dealer, Meagan Louise Ford, now 38, used a different code for each one of her customers, had drug houses and clients in Port Stephens and Newtown and, around the time of her arrest, was trying to broker a meeting between her two main suppliers in a bid to “run the streets”.
And during her meteoric rise up the ranks from small-time dealer to major supplier, Ford was leading a double life; working full-time as the business development manager for a major hotel chain while keeping her voracious client base happy.
But her aspiration would lead to a dramatic downfall and has culminated in Ford being jailed for a maximum of 12 years and three months, with a non-parole period of seven years and three months in Newcastle District Court.
Port Stephens police established Strike Force Doboy in March, 2015, to investigate the supply of drugs in the Tilligerry Peninsula.
They quickly identified Ford as a major supplier with her own network of customers, many of whom had their own client list.
Two of those men, Ian Joseph Little and David King, referred to Ford as “Queen Bee”, according to an agreed statement of facts.
During a 30-day period in July and August, 2015, police were watching as Ford supplied either MDMA, methylamphetamine, ethylone and a drug known as GBL, or “coma in a bottle”, a total of 59 times in Tanilba Bay and Newtown.
Ford was ever wary of police, spoke in code and had her clients park blocks away to avoid the sight of cars coming and going.
When a fellow drug dealer or one of her buyers was raided or arrested, word travelled fast and Ford was quick to keep a low profile.
“F--- me just got a call [drug dealer] is currently being raided,” Ford said in a text message to her main supplier. “That's one of the other four main dealers. I'm sorry, it's too hot up here.”
Her regular drug house in Tanilba Bay Avenue had an electronic doorbell which was actually a CCTV camera.
But when that house was damaged by fire in early August, 2015, she moved in with her parents.
It was at that home in Estramina Way that she was arrested during simultaneous raids across Port Stephens and Newtown on August 28, 2015. All up police uncovered more than 7.5 kilograms of GBL, 1.4 kilograms of ethylone, 86 grams of MDMA and 50 grams of methylamphetamine.
Ford was initially slated for trial, but pleaded guilty to a number of offences, including supplying a large commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, which carries a maximum of life in jail, in relation to the bottles and cans filled with GBL found at her Newtown townhouse.
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