Crime & Courts

Did drug money pay for Girl Scout cookies? Man who bought $540 worth arrested by DEA

Days after buying $540 of Girl Scout cookies Detric McGowan was arrested by the DEA.
Days after buying $540 of Girl Scout cookies Detric McGowan was arrested by the DEA. Twitter screen grab

A sweet story about a man who tried to help out some South Carolina Girl Scouts has turned ugly.

The man who bought 121 boxes of cookies last Friday, so two Girl Scouts could get out of the rain, was arrested by the DEA Tuesday, WSPA reported.

Detric Lee McGowan, aka “Fat,” was one of 10 people charged in an indictment for importing heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl from Mexico, among other charges.

The DEA said that McGowan is the same man who posed for a photo with the Girl Scouts after buying all of the cookies they were selling in front of a Mauldin Bi-Lo grocery store, according to the Greenville News.

The picture was posted on Facebook and the story of McGowan’s generosity had been shared more than 5,000 times before the post was deleted Tuesday, the newspaper reported.

Kayla Dillard said that McGowan bought seven boxes of cookies for $40, then returned and told the Girl Scouts “pack up all of your cookies. I’m taking them all so y’all can get out of this cold,” per WHNS.

The DEA said the drug “arrest is completely unrelated to the cookie purchase,” according to the TV station.

“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,” said Karen Kelly, vice president of recruitment and marketing for Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands, according to the Greenville News. “This is now in the hands of law enforcement and of course we will cooperate with authorities.”

The 46-year-old was one of eight South Carolina residents charged by the DEA, WYFF reported. The other men facing charges are from North Carolina, according to the TV station.

When McGowan was arrested in his Laurens County home, “cash and other assets were seized by U.S. Marshals,” who currently have him in custody, WSPA reported.

McGowan is 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, and three counts of unlawful use of a communication facility, according to the indictment.

A girl in Winnetka, California, rapped her way to success in a video shared by the Girl Scouts on Twitter. Shania Accius shared a video of her daughter, Kiki, with her own version of ‘Money’ by Cardi B.

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.