A Pompton Lakes man who volunteers as a Santa Claus impersonator was pulled over while driving on Monday and arrested for alleged drug charges.
Charles R. Smith, a retired New Jersey Transit worker, currently does volunteer work dressing as Santa Claus for the Toys for Tots Foundation. He had been driving down Route 46 around 2:00 in the morning on Monday when South Hackensack police pulled him over for a routine traffic stop. Smith stated that he was on his way to a nearby motel at the time. One of the officers spotted a crack pipe next to Smith’s Santa suit which was hanging in the vehicle, and a search of the car allegedly uncovered empty plastic bags containing crack cocaine and heroin residue. A hypodermic needle was also said to be amongst the contraband items.
66-year-old Smith was taken into custody and faces two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released shortly after his detainment and awaits a court hearing. It is unknown whether Smith has legal representation at this time.
Captain Robert Kaiser of the South Hackensack Police Department reported that he believes it is unlikely that Smith was coming from or going to work at his Santa gig at the time that he was accused of the crimes. Kaiser also said he discovered a Facebook page belonging to Smith containing images of the accused in his Santa suit. In a photo from 2016 he was seen in costume posing with U.S. Marines.
Toys for Tots representatives have not released a statement about the incident at this time.
Smith was found to have many phone numbers listed in his name, but none of them are currently active and he currently remains unreachable for comment.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a drug crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.