New campaign to stop "Smurfing"

Published: May. 4, 2017 at 7:13 PM EDT
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Smurfing is a term for meth cooks who get around a state law limiting how much pseudoephedrine a person can buy.

They send out groups of people to get small amounts of medicine containing pseudoephedrine.

The idea is that this tool will keep them off the radar, but today Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the "N-plex" system. The system will alert pharmacists of how many purchases are made by the customer through swiping I.D.s.

"If you are a runner, if you help these meth cooks, you do this crime, you will spend some time," Schuette said.

In 2016, 8,744 boxes of cold and allergy medicine were blocked from sale after being flagged as suspicious by the N-plex system. The N-plex is a logging system provided at no cost to tax payers or retailers and is only used to track sales for over the counter medications with pseudophedrine.

There are currently 33 states including Michigan who are using the program. Wisconsin is discussing becoming the 34th.