GREENVILLE, S.C. — The heartwarming story of a man paying for boxes of Girl Scout cookies so the scouts could get out of the cold has taken a major twist: it turns out the man is facing federal drug charges.
Multiple media outlets in the Upstate of South Carolina are now reporting that Detric Lee McGowan was arrested Tuesday morning by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Last week, a Girl Scout cookie manager in Greenville posted a photo of McGowan and talked about how he initially bought seven boxes of cookies from two girls who'd set up a table outside a store. But then McGowan came back to the table and told them to pack up their cookies and explained, "I'm taking them so y'all can get out of the cold."
The story was picked up by news outlets around the country, with many people commenting on social media about how inspiring the story was. The woman who took the photo said she had no idea who the man was.
But in an indictment posted online, it's been revealed that McGowan was facing federal charges. The man, who apparently goes by the nickname "Fat," was one of several suspects targeted by federal investigators.
The indictment says he's charged with conspiracy to distributing heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. U.S. Attorneys say the suspects were trying to import drugs from Mexico, and the scheme involved cash smuggling.
Agents say he was arrested at a home in Laurens County. The DEA told media outlets the arrest was unrelated to the social media post.
The Girl Scouts of South-Carolina Mountains released a statement to the Greenville News that said in part, "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."
The original Facebook post about the man's actions has now been deleted.