Man in viral photo buying $540 of Girl Scouts cookies arrested on drug dealing charges

An indictment issued last week says Detric Lee McGowan, also known as "Fat," is one of several suspects in an ongoing drug investigation.
Image: Detric Lee McGowan, center, bought $500 worth of Girl Scout cookies in Greenville, South Carolina, on Feb. 22, 2019.
Detric Lee McGowan, center, bought $500 worth of Girl Scout cookies in Greenville, South Carolina, on Feb. 22, 2019. McGowan was later arrested by the DEA on drug charges.Kayla Dillard

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By Associated Press

GREENVILLE, S.C. — A South Carolina man who bought more than 120 boxes of Girl Scouts cookies to help the scouts escape the cold has been arrested on drug charges.

News outlets report the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says 46-year-old Detric Lee McGowan was arrested Tuesday on charges including conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and cocaine. The agency says McGowan is the same man who appeared in a photo that garnered thousands of views and shares online.

Mother Kayla Dillard had shared the photo on Facebook, saying the man paid $540 in cash for all the girls' cookies so they could escape the cold outside a store near Greenville, South Carolina. She said she didn't get the man's name.

An indictment issued last week says McGowan, also known as "Fat," is one of several suspects in an ongoing drug investigation. It says he and 10 other people conspired to import drugs from Mexico in late 2018. The U.S. Attorney's Office says authorities are still searching for one of the suspects.

The vice president of recruitment and marketing for Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands, Karen Kelly, says the organization will cooperate with authorities. She says in a Tuesday statement that the organization had no reason to believe McGowan was "anything other than one of our valuable customers."

McGowan was being held at a Spartanburg County detention center. It's unclear if he has a lawyer.

Greenville is about 140 miles northeast of Atlanta.