Getting high isn't on everybody's Christmas to-do list this holiday season. Eggnog and mulled wine might be more common stimulants in most American homes this time of year. But for some, Christmas provides an excellent cover for the transportation and abuse of illegal narcotics. Sadly for them, it's not just Santa who cares if you're naughty or nice; DEA officers do, too. Here, six seasonal drug-busts:
1. How lovely are your branches
An "old hippy" in Germany was busted by cops because of the centerpiece of his Christmas decorations: a "festively decorated" six-foot-tall marijuana plant. Police discovered 150 grams of marijuana at the 58-year-old's house, and his pot plant in the living room. The suspect said he had "planned to decorate it further," and put presents beneath its branches on Christmas Eve.
2. The 420 Days of Christmas
Kids love opening the doors of their advent calendar to receive a chocolate treat as they count the days down to Christmas. Who could blame a 21-year-old marijuana smoker for attempting to put a narcotic spin on the seasonal favorite? Behind every door was a "small amount of cannabis in a matchbox," said the police, "wrapped up in a colorful bow." Surely, German stoners should be able to celebrate Christmas how they want, says Carmel Lobello at Death and Taxes. After all, "even the Grinch was green."
3. Dreaming of a white Christmas
Some Peruvian drug dealers gave a festive spin to their distribution methods in 2007 by stuffing Christmas cards full of cocaine. The police intercepted $10,000 worth of coke on its way to a gang of Philadelphia drug dealers. These perps "won't be getting snow for Christmas," reported Fox News.
4. A different kind of Christmas decoration
Police intercepted a truck full of Christmas decorations headed to West Yorkshire in the U.K. last year — and discovered $750,000 worth of methamphetamines among the tinsel and baubles. The four British men caught with the haul did not argue they were going to hang the drugs on their Christmas tree, but pleaded guilty to conspiring to supply narcotics. All were sent to jail.
5. I saw Mommy snorting Santa Claus
Brazilian drug dealers have long known the benefits of a seasonal disguise for illegal narcotics. As long ago as 1998, cops in Rio de Janeiro discovered stashes of cocaine stored within Santa Claus dolls, tucked beneath the red cloth hats. "At Easter time," reported the Los Angeles Times, "police found chocolate eggs laced with the drug." It's not known whether or not the perps hid drugs in turkeys at Thanksgiving, or in fireworks on July 4.
6. A gift... to the cops
The tale of Connecticut drug dealers who hid their wares in Christmas wrapping "complete with bows" made the New Haven Register's William Kaempffer wax poetic. "'Twas three weeks before Christmas and in the East Shore, the weed was wrapped nicely, a major drug score," he writes. "The buyer was waiting but police knew a lot, and busted two men with a trunk full of pot."