Officer Dressed As Santa Stages Undercover Drug Raid

Crime does not take a break for Christmas, but the holiday did give one innovative police officer in Peru an opportunity for a clever disguise.

The undercover cop took part in an operation north of the capital city of Lima whereby he dressed in full Santa Claus attire before bursting into a building and taking down two suspects accused of selling narcotics.

The officer, who gained widespread attention on social media this week, was reportedly part of a special police division known as the Green Squad. Chief Walter Palomino noted that the officer was disguised as St. Nick in order to avoid detection prior to making entry into the house.

During his forceful entrance, other officers could be seen scaling a ladder to prevent any suspects from escaping from the second story of the residence.

Still clad in a white beard and red suit, the officer was later spotted standing over one suspect lying face down on the floor with his hands bound behind his back. Authorities reported that an undisclosed amount of cocaine paste and marijuana was found at the location.

While the suspects likely lost the Christmas spirit during the ordeal, law enforcement kept the theme alive while reporting on the operation. The individuals arrested were listed as part of the “Evil Reindeer Gang” and one was identified as the “Grinch.”

During a subsequent news conference, the undercover officer — still dressed as the Jolly Old Elf — appeared alongside his colleagues.

The nature of the raid might not have been typical, but it was also not entirely unique for Peruvian police. Investigators have employed a number of innovative strategies to address the nation’s rampant drug-related crimes and have frequently aligned such operations with widely celebrated holidays.

Earlier this year, authorities dressed in Halloween garb during a mission that resulted in the arrest of two suspected members of an organized drug gang known as the Balboa Clan.

Four suspects were reportedly arrested as part of an undercover operation shortly before Christmas last year, resulting in the seizure of roughly 6,000 cocaine paste packages. A similar strategy was reportedly used three years earlier.