Viral Girl Scout Cookie Buyer Arrested On Drug Charges

A man who went viral online after buying more than $500 in Girl Scout cookies so that the girls selling them could come in out of the cold has been arrested on unrelated drug charges, NBC News reports. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, Detric Lee McGowan was arrested on charges including conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and cocaine. The DEA also confirmed that the man arrested was indeed the man in the viral photo.

McGowan achieved near-instant internet notoriety when Kayla Dillard, the mother of one of the Girl Scouts, shared a photo of him and the girls indicating that he had paid $540 in cash for the whole stock of cookies so that they could be done for the day. Dillard did not know McGowan’s name at the time and didn’t share it in the post, which quickly spread across social media before being picked up by a number of national and international media outlets, including The Inquisitr.

According to the original Facebook post, which has since been removed, McGowan (then unnamed) initially bought seven boxes of cookies for $40 before going on his way.

He then, according to the post, returned after a few minutes, telling the girls “pack up all of your cookies. I’m taking them all so y’all can get out of this cold,” before buying out the remaining stock.

Dillard indicated that McGowan had not shared any information regarding his profession other than stating that he “owned several business.”

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Later, an indictment was issued indicating McGowan, also known as “Fat,” is one of a number of suspects in a drug investigation looking into activity from 2018. According to the indictment, McGowan and 10 other individuals worked together to import drugs from Mexico. All suspects have been identified and located, with the exception of one, who remains at large. McGowan is now being held at a detention center in Spartanburg County.

In addition, McGowan is one of four suspects under suspicion of trying to smuggle more than $1 million in cash out of the country. The indictment indicates that since 2016, McGowan and others from a house in Mountville, South Carolina, manufactured, stored, and distributed controlled substances including some containing appreciable amounts of heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine.

Karen Kelly, a representative of Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands, said that the Girl Scouts would cooperate fully with authorities, but that as far as they knew, McGowan was nothing more than one of their valuable customers.