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Guy Who Spent $540 on Girl Scout Cookies Arrested by DEA

SC man had been under surveillance for months
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2019 12:50 AM CST
Updated Feb 27, 2019 6:11 AM CST
Workers unload trucks containing thousands of cases of Girl Scout cookies at the Chapel Hill Mall in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.   (Ed Suba Jr./Akron Beacon Journal via AP, File)

(Newser) – So much for that feel-good story: The Drug Enforcement Administration says it has arrested Detric Lee McGowan, the South Carolina man who spent $540 on cookies to get a group of Girl Scouts out of the cold. Investigators say the 46-year-old could afford to be generous: He was allegedly involved in a conspiracy to import heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl from Mexico, the State reports. The numerous charges against McGowan and nine other suspects include conspiracy to import controlled substances and conspiracy to commit bulk cash smuggling. Authorities say he has been arrested at least six times before and recently served two years in federal prison for cocaine possession.

McGowan gained viral attention after he bought every box of cookies Greenville's Troop 1574 had Friday. Agents say McGowan had been under surveillance for months and the arrest Tuesday was "completely unrelated" to the cookie purchase. He "used his story of buying $540 of Girl Scout cookies to falsely shine the spotlight on himself under the pretense of being a pillar of the community; in reality, he is a pariah to the community," says Robert J. Murphy, the special agent in charge of the DEA's Atlanta field division, per Fox News. Murphy says that instead of helping the community, McGowan delivered "immeasurable and untold pain to the scores of families who are dealing with opioid addiction." (Read more Girl Scouts stories.)

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