Viral Girl Scout cookie buyer arrested in DEA drug bust

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A photo of two young Girl Scouts posing with a man, who reportedly spent more than $500 in cash to buy all of their Girl Scout cookies so they wouldn’t have to stand in the rain, has gone viral on social media and has made headlines nationwide.

In our efforts to cover the sweet gesture on Tuesday, we interviewed both of the scouts, the woman who took the photo and the Girl Scouts’ Cookie Manager Kayla Dillard.

“He said, ‘I saw that little girl shivering. Pack up all your cookies. I’m going to take it so you all can get out of the cold,” Dillard said. 

It was through our reporting that we learned that the man — identified as Detric McGowan — was arrested Tuesday morning by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

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

We’re told he will have a bond hearing on Friday.

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

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