Retiree who portrays Santa Claus now facing drug charges

Posted: Updated:
Santa impersonator Charles Smith faces drug charges. Santa impersonator Charles Smith faces drug charges.
SOUTH HACKENSACK -

Authorities say a retiree who volunteers as a Santa Claus impersonator is facing drug charges after police allegedly found a crack pipe in his vehicle during a traffic stop.

South Hackensack police say 66-year-old Charles Smith, of Pompton Lakes, was arrested Monday after a traffic stop on Route 46. They say an officer saw the crack pipe next to a Santa Claus costume.

Authorities say a subsequent search of the vehicle turned up more drug paraphernalia, including empty bags of crack and heroin found alongside a hypodermic needle.

Smith does Santa work for the charity Toys for Tots, according to police.

It wasn't immediately known if Smith has retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."