STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Man who went viral for buying $540 of Girl Scout cookies arrested in DEA drug bust

A man who was praised for buying $540 in cookies so two Girl Scouts could escape the cold has been arrested on federal drug charges.

Posted: Feb 28, 2019 5:00 AM
Updated: Feb 28, 2019 5:00 AM

A man who was praised for buying $540 in cookies so two Girl Scouts could escape the cold has been arrested on federal drug charges.

Detric McGowan went viral over the weekend after he spent $540 to buy the cookies from two girls so they didn't have to stand outside a grocery store in Greenville, South Carolina.

A picture of McGowan posing with the two girls was posted on Facebook by the girls' cookie manager and shared thousands of times. The story even picked up national coverage, including from CNN.

The purchase happened Friday.

Tuesday morning, authorities arrested McGowan on several charges, including conspiracy to manufacture and distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.

The 21-page indictment also says McGowan and 10 others conspired to import the drugs from Mexico into the United States. Authorities said they were found with more than $1 million in cash.

Although McGowan's lawyer, Janis Hall, didn't comment on the case, she did tell CNN she believes he's a good-hearted person.

The DEA official said the viral photo from this weekend had nothing to do with the agency's federal drug charges stemming from a grand jury begun in 2018.

The Girl Scouts said it was saddened to learn of "the unfortunate turn of events in South Carolina." It's not clear if the Girl Scouts will have to return the money they received. CNN has reached out to them to ask but has not heard back.

"We want to assure the public that all of our girls are currently safe, that all proper safety protocols were followed during the sale, and that at no time were any of our girls or volunteers threatened," the organization said in a statement.

"The troop had no way of knowing who they were dealing with, and every reason to assume a good Samaritan wanted to help power amazing Girl Scout experiences through the Girl Scout Cookie Program."

McGowan is one of 11 defendants in the case and was arrested at his home in a rural part of Laurens County, South Carolina. US Marshals seized cash and other assets at the time of his arrest.

According to the indictment, McGowan was charged with eight drug-related counts, including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to import controlled substances and possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10708104
Hinds10519205
Harrison7555113
Jackson6708128
Rankin6130112
Lee547697
Madison5202110
Forrest400187
Jones382189
Lauderdale3727147
Lafayette344057
Washington3367108
Lamar307550
Lowndes261167
Oktibbeha259962
Bolivar250185
Panola240253
Neshoba2311122
Marshall227151
Leflore213991
Monroe212278
Pontotoc211231
Lincoln200867
Sunflower195555
Warren184958
Tate184051
Union176826
Copiah172540
Pike168360
Pearl River163870
Yazoo162940
Scott162730
Itawamba162637
Alcorn160428
Coahoma157844
Prentiss156732
Simpson155153
Adams148352
Grenada147145
Leake143344
Holmes135761
Covington135541
Tippah132530
George131725
Winston131726
Hancock130942
Wayne124924
Attala124735
Marion124248
Tishomingo114844
Chickasaw112132
Newton112129
Tallahatchie100727
Clay97127
Clarke95653
Jasper88523
Stone83115
Calhoun81513
Walthall79930
Montgomery78826
Carroll76315
Smith75716
Lawrence75214
Yalobusha74428
Noxubee74217
Perry69326
Tunica63519
Greene63022
Jefferson Davis60217
Amite59315
Claiborne59316
Humphreys55719
Quitman5117
Benton50518
Kemper49318
Webster47914
Wilkinson41322
Jefferson38712
Franklin3726
Choctaw3697
Sharkey33117
Issaquena1234
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 260359

Reported Deaths: 3776
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34716513
Mobile20452370
Madison14215153
Tuscaloosa13755173
Montgomery12731243
Shelby1110278
Baldwin9341137
Lee801566
Morgan722855
Etowah692170
Calhoun6809121
Marshall675058
Houston552739
DeKalb512940
Cullman480246
St. Clair460357
Limestone455046
Lauderdale443357
Elmore432567
Walker3861112
Talladega381157
Jackson361623
Colbert341546
Blount315845
Autauga289342
Franklin262634
Coffee257717
Dale244454
Dallas234932
Chilton233641
Covington232434
Russell23153
Escambia206932
Tallapoosa190291
Chambers187551
Clarke164120
Pike163814
Marion148236
Winston144725
Lawrence137336
Pickens129720
Geneva12818
Marengo126724
Bibb125238
Barbour121429
Butler120042
Randolph107022
Cherokee106724
Hale101432
Fayette99916
Clay94825
Washington93921
Henry8996
Monroe84611
Lowndes82629
Cleburne80714
Macon77122
Crenshaw73330
Conecuh72914
Lamar7258
Bullock70919
Perry6987
Wilcox65518
Sumter59522
Greene44518
Choctaw43519
Coosa3824
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 44°
Columbus
Overcast
43° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 39°
Oxford
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 36°
Starkville
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 41°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather