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.

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