GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) – A viral story about a man's generosity when Upstate Girl Scouts were selling cookies on a cold and rainy Friday has a new chapter: The good Samaritan has been arrested by the DEA.

Detric McGowan

Detric McGowan (Source: Spartanburg Co. Sheriff's Office)

On Monday, we spoke to Kayla Dillard, who said a man spent $540 to buy all of the girl’s cookies at a Mauldin Bi-Lo grocery store.

The man initially bought 7 packs of cookies for $40 and told the girls to keep the change.

He came back to the table a short time later and, per Dillard, told the girls “pack up all of your cookies. I'm taking them all so y'all can get out of this cold.”

Dillard posted a photo of the girls and the generous man on Facebook on Feb. 22, which was shared thousands of times. 

Detric McGowan

Detric McGowan (File)

On Tuesday, we learned the name of the man who bought the cookies is Detric McGowan.

We also learned from the DEA that McGowan was arrested on Tuesday.

McGowan is named in a 21-page indictment, along with ten other defendants on a list of drug charges.

McGowan is charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl; racketeering; selling and distributing controlled substances; conspiracy to defraud the United States; and more.

The indictment claims McGowan, known by the street name “Fat,” and his co-defendants conspired to import heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl from Mexico around September 2018. He’s also accused of trying to conceal over $1 million in U.S. currency and transport it outside the U.S; and storing and manufacturing drugs at a building on Jefferson Davis Road in Laurens County between 2016 and February 2019. The indictment said officials detected heroin and fentanyl in the the Laurens County building.

A DEA spokesman said McGowan's arrest is completely unrelated to the cookie purchase.

McGowan is being held in Spartanburg County detention center. A mugshot was not immediately available. 


Karen Kelly, the Vice President of Recruiting and Marketing for Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands released this statement:

"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."


A background check found that McGowan had previously been arrested on several drug charges stemming back to the 1990s. 

According to SLED, he was arrested for the following: 

  • Possession of crack with intent to distribute near a school
  • Assault and battery
  • Drawing a weapon
  • Malicious injury to personal property
  • Lynching – second degree
  • Trafficking crack cocaine in proximity to a public park
  • Trafficking crack cocaine
  • Distributing or selling crack cocaine or possession with intent to distribute near a school

Those arrests span from 1992 to 1997. 

In 2009, McGowan was indicted by a grand jury for possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. He plead guilty in February of 2011 and sentenced to 30 months in prison, and a five year supervised release. 

Part of his sentence also included his participation in a substance abuse program and was not allowed to own a firearm. 


PHOTOS: Mug Shots for DEA suspects booked into Spartanburg Co. jail

The DEA said McGowan and his 10 co-defendants all conspired to import drugs from Mexico and distribute them throughout the Upstate.

Here is the full list of suspects arrested Tuesday.

  • Detric McGowan a.k.a “Fat”, 46, of Piedmont, South Carolina
  • Donald Thomas Jr. a.k.a “TJ”, 36, of Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Christopher Cunningham, 38, of Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Richard Longshore, 46, of Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Celest Blocker, 67, of Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Eddie Lee Childs, 49, of Simpsonville, South Carolina
  • Trevor Hull, 51, of Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Danny Moralez Lopez, 29, of Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Shwquita Holloway, 34, of Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Lauren Poore, 35, of Piedmont, South Carolina

The US Attorney's Office said one suspect remains on the run.

If convicted the suspects could face anywhere between five years and life in federal prison.

Copyright 2019 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(1) comment


I think these are two parts of a whole [person]. While what this man does to make money is dangerous, I do think his heart went out to these shivering children. We can still be glad that he did this for these children. Now if only he can understand the consequential dangers from his crimes.

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