A “mystery man” who made viral news for buying $540 worth of cookies from Girl Scouts standing outside in cold weather has been arrested on drug trafficking charges.
Last week, Detric McGowan (as now identified by police) bought Girl Scout Troop 1574’s entire cookie stash outside a Bilo grocery store in Mauldin, S.C. On Tuesday, parent Kayla Dillard told Yahoo Lifestyle that McGowan paid $40 for seven boxes of cookies, allowing the girls to keep his change, then came back saying, “Pack up all of your cookies. I’m taking them all so y’all can get out of this cold.”
Because “we were all in total shock,” Dillard never learned the man’s name. “He mentioned he owned several businesses,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle. “We assume he was going to give the cookies away.”
Dillard shared a photo of the man on Facebook, which raised his profile — notably to local police.
McGowan, 46, of Piedmont— whose street name is “Fat” — was arrested Tuesday morning, Mike Rzepczynski of the Drug Enforcement Agency told WSPA, noting that McGowan had been the focus of a months-long federal investigation from September.
WSPA reports that McGowan, who is in custody of the U.S. Marshalls, appeared before a judge on Tuesday with his alleged cohorts. His bond hearing will be held on Friday.
According to McGowan’s indictment, he is charged with a series of crimes, including conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl, drug trafficking and cash smuggling.
A representative of the Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands didn’t reply to Yahoo Lifestyle when contacted for comment.
Fox Carolina ran a statement from the youth organization:
“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.”
McGowan has a considerable police record since the 1990s, per Fox Carolina, including assault and battery, second-degree lynching, drawing a weapon and trafficking crack cocaine.
U.S. Attorney Sherri Lydon told WSPA that the indictment “is yet another example of the unwavering commitment of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina to disrupting and dismantling the flow of illegal opioids and other narcotics into our state.” She continued, “As the opioid epidemic tightens its grip on families across America, we will continue to join with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to aggressively prosecute individuals who are peddling these dangerous and deadly drugs into our communities.”
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