I remembered reading this piece while putting together yesterday’s Four In The Afternoon, but couldn’t find it. Luckily, I managed to track down NPR’s September 19 report on black market cigarettes in the U.S. This report makes the people behind these crime rings look like characters from The Shield.


Undercover investigators working with his department “had two cases where contacts that we were working with had asked us to murder their competition,” Wilson says. “We were able to fake the murder of the individuals.”

The clandestine operation came filled with drama.

“Well, we used some theatrical make up, photographs of the individual on the pavement with blood around the head,” Wilson Says. “That was sufficient for them.”

The investigation resulted in the November 2009 arrest of 14 people tied to the contraband cigarette ring. Investigators say that murder-for-hire is a logical extension of the trade in black-market cigarettes.

One more reason for a certain commenter to consider laying off the cigs.