Diplomatic relations between the Federation and one or more alien powers are breaking down again. Usually, when that happens, the Murgatroid is ordered as far away as possible in the opposite direction, to keep us from messing things up. This time, however, we're actually being given a related task. It seems that one of the issues of contention is rampant smuggling, particularly of alcohol. (This is related the debate we were having earlier on the Murgatroid.) The admiral believes that we, spending so much time on and beyond the edges of "polite Federation society", probably have more experience with the "seamy underbelly of the galaxy"; and she is hoping that we can help in tracking down some alcohol smugglers -- particularly, Ferengi.
This almost dovetails nicely with my current plans. I was already planning to seek out smugglers to sell some of our excess alcohol too. This should not be a problem for us, because the Murgatroid is the "seamy underbelly of the galaxy"... Granted, we can't exactly trade with the smugglers and then turn them in, and hope they'll keep silent about our involvement; but "You know, Starfleet wants us to turn you over to them, dead or alive" is a great negotiating tool; and we don't have to turn over all of the smugglers we find, just the cheap ones.