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Wayne Authorities Target 'Smurfs'

Posted January 25, 2008

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— Six people have been charged in an investigation targeting manufacturers of methamphetamine, and more arrests are expected, authorities said Friday.

In Operation Pop-a-Smurf, the drug squad of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office checked the logs of area pharmacies for six months to determine who was buying large amounts of pseudo-ephedrine, a key ingredient in many cold medications as well as methamphetamine.

People who go from store to store to purchase cold medications for use in methamphetamine production are known on the street as "smurfs."

The following people have been charged with possession of precursor chemicals: Willie Dean Lancaster, 22, of 113 Nancy Drive in Goldsboro; Gregory Scott Radford, 37, of 232 N.C. Highway 581 South in Goldsboro; James Corey West, 28, of 224 Southern Mobile Drive in Dudley; Holly Carroll Sutton, 23, of 183 Mobile Circle in Dudley; and William Jeremy Alexander, 25, of 607 Thine St. in Goldsboro.

Radford also was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. Wendy Tucker Moore, 48, of 110 S. Alleghney Place in Dudley, was charged with violation of pseudo-ephedrine limits.


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  • Just Not Right Jan 25, 2008

    Anybody that uses enough "meth" can turn blue and be a Smurf.

  • wralfan Jan 25, 2008

    Oldrebel: I always wondered why Smurfette had breasts when everyone knows that baby smurfs are delivered once in a blue moon and not actually birthed and in need of weaning.

  • wralfan Jan 25, 2008

    The term "smurf" or "smurfing" in this context gets its connotation from the many, similar small-quantity legal purchases of cold medicines, etc. made by the many, similarly-cranked meth users trying to get their smaller purchases transacted without notice as opposed to buying cases of cold meds like they used to do.

    Like the "Smurfs" who were small, similarly looking persons who tried to frolic about doing their daily business sight unseen.

  • wralfan Jan 25, 2008

    Haven't these people learned yet to order their illicit ingredients off the internet like everyone else?

  • oldrebel Jan 25, 2008

    Do smurfs have genatalia? All they wear are those shirts and hats. Seems kind of carefree enviroment but not likely to get you in a better restaurants and book stores.

  • bosoxbaby Jan 25, 2008

    They also got a meth lab yesterday. In a neighborhood that a friend lives in (used to be a decent place to live). She lives like 2 doors down from these low lives with her husband and kids. Get this, the idiots power was turned off so they used jumper cables to hook to a utility pole to steal power. Thank God the morons didn't blow up the block.

  • bill0 Jan 25, 2008

    There are 2 origins for "smurf" applied to meth. The first is from the banking industry. "Smurfing" is a money laundering term where the person makes a bunch of tiny transactions so that no individual transaction raises any flags. It applies to meth production since they passed the new laws about only being able to buy x amount of cold medicine per day. To get around that, "smurfs" make a bunch of small purchases from different locations.

    The second possible origin is a reference to a flavored meth. One of the first big types of that was "smurf dope." (It was blue...) It might have caught on as a generic name.

  • Crocus Jan 25, 2008

    Weird, last one didn't register anything beyond "I". I love Wiki.

    Smurfing is banking industry jargon used to describe the act of splitting a large financial transaction into smaller transactions to avoid scrutiny by regulators or law enforcement. It is commonly used in the context of money laundering and has been known to appear in official Federal criminal indictments. The term is synonymous with "structuring a deposit" and originates from an image of many identical, small transactions, like the many identical, small cartoon characters, The Smurfs.

    Typically each of these smaller transactions is below some limit, a limit above which financial institutions must file a report with a government agency. Criminal enterprises often send different couriers to make these transactions, and those couriers are known as "smurfs" in this context.

  • Crocus Jan 25, 2008


  • Crocus Jan 25, 2008

    I saw that is what they call them. (I can read just barely) I just want to know why they call them that. Its not like the little blue smurfs ran around hording cold medicine.