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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

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Cases: 292811

Reported Deaths: 6613
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
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Clay178149
Stone171429
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Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
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Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
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Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
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Benton93124
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Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
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Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
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St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
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Blount6086125
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Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
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Barbour209951
Hale208868
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Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
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