Crime Begets Crime: The Illicit Tobacco Trade’s Dangerous Offspring

Editor’s Note: See also: Cigarette Smuggling and Cyber Security: Low-Tech Crimes Fund High-Tech Threats.

From: Richmond Times-Dispatch

Cigarette trafficking spawning other crimes and possibly violence

From the Series: Cigarette smuggling series


Though illegal and enormously profitable, there has not been the kind of widespread deadly mayhem associated with cigarette trafficking as there once was with crack cocaine in Virginia, particularly in the Richmond area. But cigarette trafficking is generating the same sort of associated crimes, among them burglary, credit card fraud, identity theft, money laundering — and possibly murder.

“The related crimes are staggering,” said William V. Pelfrey Jr., an associate professor of criminal justice at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Wilder School of Government who is one of the few academics in the country to examine illicit cigarette trafficking. “This is a significantly understudied area, particularly given the substantial revenue available and the potential for organized crime activity.”

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