Cops Dressed as Santa and an Elf Blitz Gang Leader in Peruvian Drug Raid
One of Peru’s most feared undercover counterdrug units, known as the “Green Squad,” got festive with their disguises this year.
Published on December 21, 2020

Image screencap via 

Last week, undercover Peruvian cops dressed as Santa Claus and an elf came to town, skipped the chimney, and sledgehammered through a suspected drug dealer’s front door.

The sting took place in the Villa El Salvador district of Peru’s capital, Lima. The arrests included the alleged leader of the Los Flaquis gang. 

Video uploaded to Facebook by Peru’s National Police showed how the two Santas and elf, accompanied by several other officers, blitzed into the home.

Video via 

“We are the police, we are the Green Squad, this is an anti-drug operation!” the police shouted on the video. 

Police said the suspects dealt drugs out of the house, which is located near a school. They also reported finding hundreds of baggies of cocaine paste and cannabis, as well as a handgun. Although cocaine is outlawed in Peru, the nation launched a limited medical cannabis program in late 2019. However, the country has experienced medical cannabis shortages due to short supply and high demand.

The Green Squad, or Grupo Terna, are known for donning a variety of disguises before dashing in to surprise their suspects. In the past, they’ve dressed as homeless people and city street sweepers, and this year marks the second time they decked more festive and flashy garb. The first time they pulled the Santa-and-elf trick was back in 2016.

“Agents from Grupo Terna disguise themselves in order to carry out their police operations without being discovered,” a police spokesperson said, according to CNN.

However, it’s a little ironic that police officers would dress as Santa and one of his elves to disrupt drug operations. One Harvard biology professor claims that Santa’s flying reindeer were inspired by real-life reindeer munching on Amanita muscaria shrooms, which can induce feelings of weightlessness or soaring across the sky.

Regardless, we’re betting that the folks swept up by the Green Squad wished they’d only gotten a lump of coal this year. Instead, they’ll likely face some prison time.

Randy Robinson
Based in Denver, Randy studied cannabinoid science while getting a degree in molecular biology at the University of Colorado. When not writing about cannabis, science, politics, or LGBT issues, they can be found exploring nature somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Catch Randy on Twitter and Instagram @randieseljay
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