One time pads are not worthless in practice, at all.
Whether you are a criminal, or a government agent, at some point you will be in a secure location, and you will be able to exchange the pads. The USB stick in my pocket can hold more data than I expect to exchange with any of my friends in the course my lifetime. How long to you think encrypted messages need to be?
But even that is less secure than what you could do.
Hell, if I was writing a novel about smart criminals, and wanted them to be capable of secure communication, this is what I have them do:
They would meet in the big boss's hacienda, and they would agree to use one of the 50000 books available on project Gutenberg. The page to use as an one time pad would be selected via a function of the day the message is sent. The function would be simple enough to memorize.
When one of the party wants to send a message, they would take a picture they have a plausible reason to send, and would use a hex editor, on a PC physically disconnected from the Internet, to manually change a subset of low-significance color bits. Again, the subset will be determined by a rule that is easily memorized.
Yes, the process is laborious, and I would have them do it twice, and then compare the two resulting pictures. If they do not match, they will have to do it again. Once the pictures match, wipe (properly) the originals (from everywhere: camera, usb, secure computer) and send the modified picture, accompanied with an innocuous and appropriate message.
Obviously, the encrypted messages would need to be short, but this process will not attract any attention, and will rely on memorized rules, publicly available data, and programs that would not draw anyone's attention.
What is the NSA doing to do? Suspect anyone sending pictures to his friends? Try, as a one time pad, every page on every book available on Gutenberg, or the myriads of pirated book libraries in China, Russia, Ukraine, etc?
I cannot think of any weakness of this system. Can you? And even if it is completely stupid, I bet you two things: there are plenty of people who can come up with a better one, and plenty of people who are getting away with using a worse one.