Man Who Purchased $540 of Girl Scout Cookies Accused in Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

News outlets report the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says 46-year-old Detric Lee McGowan was arrested Tuesday on charges including conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and cocaine. The agency says McGowan is the same man who appeared in a photo that garnered thousands of views and shares online.
Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office

A South Carolina man who purchased $540 of Girl Scout cookies was arrested by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Tuesday and accused of drug trafficking.

Detric Lee McGowan, 46, of Piedmont, South Carolina, was listed in a 21-page indictment with several others on multiple federal drug charges, including “conspiracy to import and possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl.”

DEA officials say McGowan also allegedly took part in a conspiracy with three other suspects to smuggle away more than $1 million from the U.S. If convicted of the charges, McGowan could face up to life in prison, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Crick told WYFF.

McGowan, who remained anonymous at the time, bought out a group of South Carolina Girl Scouts hosting a Girl Scout cookie sale on Friday. He initially handed the girls $40 in exchange for seven boxes of cookies and asked them to keep the change.

Shortly after he made his initial $40 Girl Scout cookie purchase, he came back to the girls’ cookie stand and told them to pack up their things. He told the girls he wanted to buy everything they had to get them out of the cold.

McGowan gained recognition after a now-deleted Facebook post from Girl Scout cookie sale manager, Kayla Dillard, went viral:

“This man purchased 7 packs of cookies. Gave the girls $40, told them to keep the change. Then he came back to the table and said “pack up all of your cookies. I’m taking them all so y’all can get out of this cold” $540 he spent on cookies. What an amazing soul!!!! #troop1574 #kindheart #thatgreenville #greenvillesc,” according to the now-deleted Facebook post.

The troop behind the sale, the Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands, issued a statement Wednesday saying that none of the scouts were “hurt” or “threatened” by the man, but that the troop would cooperate with investigators.

“Nobody was hurt. Nobody was threatened. We had no reason to believe that this man was anything other than one of our valuable customers that is helping Girl Scouts power awesome experiences through the Girl Scout Cookie Program. This is now in the hands of law enforcement and of course we will cooperate with authorities,” the troop said in a statement.


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