DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Crime

Viral Cookie Story Takes A Dark Twist

Big Girl Scout customer busted by DEA

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Cookie Monster?

FEBRUARY 26--The kindly South Carolina gentleman who this week went viral for buying $540 worth of Girl Scout cookies from two eight-year-olds was arrested today on a federal indictment accusing him of distributing heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl imported from Mexico.

On a chilly evening earlier this month, a mystery man purchased 121 boxes of cookies from a pair of Girl Scouts stationed outside a supermarket in Greenville. “Pack up all of your cookies. I'm taking them all so y'all can get out of this cold,” the buyer declared before driving off with his cookie haul.

In recounting the episode, a Girl Scouts rep noted that the customer--who posed for a photo with the second grade salesgirls--mentioned that he “owned several businesses.”

The cookie buyer, it turns out, was Detric Lee McGowan, a 46-year-old known as “Fat” among his alleged cohorts in the drug trade.

McGowan was arrested this morning by Drug Enforcement Administration agents in connection with a 22-count indictment unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Greenwood. McGowan is one of 11 defendants charged in the drug case.

McGowan is accused of conspiring to import and distribute heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. He is also facing felony charges for cash smuggling and maintaining a drug-involved premise (a Mountville, South Carolina property allegedly used for the manufacture and storage of narcotics).

The indictment seeks the forfeiture of McGowan’s home in Piedmont, a Greenville suburb. The residence is co-owned with Lauren Brook Poore, who is charged in the indictment with conspiring with McGowan to illegally structure bank deposits. Prosecutors are seeking to seize four bank accounts jointly held by McGowan and the 35-year-old Poore.

The DEA investigation of the alleged narcotics distribution ring included the wiretapping of several phones used by members of the organization.

A federal magistrate this afternoon ordered McGowan jailed in advance of a detention hearing. Poore was released from custody on a $25,000 unsecured bond and ordered to restrict her travel to within South Carolina. (3 pages)