Girl Scout cookie buyer arrested in DEA drug bust

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The man in a viral photo who spent more than $500 cash to buy 121 boxes of Girl Scout cookies so two Girl Scouts wouldn’t have to stand in the rain has been arrested in a long-term federal drug investigation.

The photo went viral quickly, garnering nearly 10,000 Facebook shares in five days with people praising the thoughtful gesture.

Late Tuesday, the man, identified as Detric McGowan, was arrested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

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 DEA, McGowan was taken into custody at his home, where cash and other assets were seized by U.S. Marshals.

Resident Agent Mike Rzepczynski said 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. 

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

Officials with the Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands issued the following statement:

“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.”

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