SC man who went viral for buying $540 worth of Girl Scout cookies arrested by DEA

Around the South

GREENVILLE , S.C. (WSPA) – A man who went viral for spending more than $500 on Girl Scout cookies so the girls wouldn’t have to stand in the rain was arrested just hours later. 

Detric McGowan was arrested Tuesday morning by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

He is accused of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.

McGowan is accused of trying to import drugs from Mexico.

According to the indictment, McGowan was charged with:

  • Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances,
  • Conspiracy to import controlled substances
  • Conspiracy to commit bulk cash smuggling ($1,004,665.00),
  • Interstate travel and transportation in aid of drug trafficking business,
  • Possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin,
  • Maintaining a drug-involved premise,
  • Conspiracy to structure transactions to evade reporting requirement 
  • Three counts of unlawful use of a communication facility.

Read the full indictment by clicking here.

According to the local DEA, McGowan was taken into custody at his home in a rural part of Laurens County, where cash and other assets were seized by U.S. Marshals.

A spokesman told us that McGowan’s arrest was part of a long-term federal drug investigation that began in September 2018 and spanned out of state.

McGowan faced a judge Tuesday afternoon, along with several others who were arrested in this operation. 

Kayla Dillard, the “cookie manager” of Troop 1574, told CBS News they were shocked when McGowan told them pack up. 

“We stood there in shock for a little while,” McGowan said. 

Dillard, whose 8-year-old daughter is a member of the troop, was with the girls as they participated in the annual, beloved cookie sale outside a local supermarket. She says it was around 34 degrees in Greenville when the good Samaritan arrived.

“This man purchased seven packs of cookies. Gave the girls $40, told them to keep the change,” Dillard posted Friday night on Facebook. “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!!!!”

The troop sold about 221 packages of cookies that night. Dillard said the number of packages the man, who didn’t give his name at the time, bought would have likely taken about another day and a half of efforts to sell. 

He will have a bond hearing on Friday.

McGowan remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.

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