Meth “Smurfing”

What does smurfing mean? In relation to meth, smurfing is a term that is used to describe a person or group of people that go from one store to another in order to gain enough pseudoephedrine to make meth.

group of meth smurfsSince laws were passed in 2005 to prohibit people from buying large quantities of pseudoephedrine at one time, meth manufacturers have found ways around this by “smurfing” from one store to another buying just under the 2 package legal limit at each store until they have enough pseudoephedrine to make meth.

The term smurfing actually comes from the banking world. Smurfing as it relates to banking was coined to describe a process in which a bank would break up huge financial transactions into several smaller ones in order to avoid tipping off the government or raising any red flags. In relation to meth, I’m sure you can see the correlation. Another reason that the term smurfing conjures up memories of those fun loving little blue cartoon characters is probably because of the fact that many times it takes several people to buy up enough pseudoephedrine to make a batch of meth. So you might see a group of 3+ tweekers gathered together like a group of smurfs in the cold medicine isle or standing in line at the store with 2 boxes of pseudoephedrine each.

The government is in the process of passing legislation that would track the purchase of pseudoephedrine from one store to another. Currently these records are limited to the store in which the purchase was made, however in some states they will soon make stores that sell pseudoephedrine combine records and compare them in a central database in order to curtail the smurfing process.