Police Capture Suspected Drug Dealer Disguised As Elderly Man

By McCarton Ackerman 08/22/16

Thirty-one-year-old Shaun Miller was wanted in Connecticut for a federal drug-trafficking indictment in April. 

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Police Capture Suspected Drug Dealer Disguised As Elderly Man
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A Massachusetts man was arrested on drug charges after attempting to dodge authorities by disguising himself as an elderly man. He gets an A for effort, but not so much for execution.

CNN reported that police in Yarmouth arrested 31-year-old Shaun Miller last Thursday. Police had been searching for Miller, a fugitive who managed to avoid arrest during a major drug bust in April that led to the apprehension of 19 members of the "Nauti-Block" gang, which authorities called "a key drug operation" that distributed a significant amount of heroin throughout Cape Cod.    

When they arrived at the house, instead of the 31-year-old, police were greeted by an elderly man who went by the same name. A Yarmouth police press release confirmed the charade was short-lived, though, and “officers pulled off Miller’s realistic disguise and placed him under arrest.” They also seized $30,000 in cash and two loaded weapons.

Miller has been detained on a charge of possession of heroin with intent to distribute. His attorney, James Cipoletta, says his client will plead not guilty at his upcoming hearing on August 31 at the U.S. District Court in Boston.

The old man disguise was especially headline-worthy because it’s usually police who don elaborate costumes in an attempt to bust drug dealers. Last September, police in Lima, Peru, dressed up as Bible-carrying priests to bust a suspected drug dealer on the street. Dario Calvo of local police said that authorities have dressed up as hawkers, panhandlers and even pretended to be mentally disabled in their efforts to catch drug dealers and traffickers.

“As we are fighting crime, we have to be a little ingenious to disguise ourselves and capture criminals,” Calvo told Agence France-Presse. “It’s very effective.”

In March 2012, the student body at a California high school was left speechless when an undercover cop arrested 12 students on drug charges after posing as a student there for eight months. The officer, known on campus as “Johnny Ramirez,” even went so far as to complete homework assignments and take tests like any other student. His real identity was only known by the school superintendent, the interim principal, and one other administrator.

Although Exeter Police Chief Cliff Bush declared that “we made the campus safer today,” several students said the approach left them betrayed because they had considered the cop to be a friend. 

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.

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