The Feel-Good Story About The Guy Who Spent $540 On Girl Scout Cookies Just Took A Decidedly Not-So-Feel-Good Turn

Kayla Dillard/Facebook

It was a heartwarming story that went viral across social media, but soon after making headlines, things took a dark turn.

On Tuesday, social media lit up sharing the feel good story of a South Carolina man who spent $540 on Girl Scouts cookies so the girls selling them could get out of the cold.

Shortly afterwards, though, the story took an unexpected turn when it was discovered that the unknown Good Samaritan had been arrested on federal drug charges.


Kayla Dillard/Facebook


In the now-deleted Facebook post, Kayla Dillard, the cookie manager and a Girl Scout mom, shared a picture of the generous stranger and the two girls he had bought the haul of cookies from. According to Dillard, the unnamed man first dropped by the girls’ cookie stand outside a grocery store in Greenville, South Carolina, and purchased 7 boxes of cookies. He gave the girls $40 and told them to keep the change.

The man later returned and said “pack up all of your cookies. I’m taking them all so y’all can get out of this cold.”

Dillard posted the uplifting story to Facebook on Friday. By Tuesday, it had gone viral and caught the attention of media outlets. That’s when things took a turn for the worse.

Local South Carolina station WSPA identified the man as 46-year-old Detric Lee McGowan of Piedmont, South Carolina. What they didn’t expect to discover though was that McGowan had been arrested by the Drug Enforcement Agency early Tuesday morning as part of a major drug conspiracy.

It is not believed that the publicity surrounding his kindness to the Girl Scouts had anything to do with the arrest, as that was part of “a long-term federal drug investigation that began in September 2018 and spanned out of state.”

According to the indictment, McGowan and others are being charged with conspiracy to import and possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and fentanyl.

McGowan and 3 others are also reportedly being charged with “conspiring to smuggle more than $1 million dollars out of the United States.”

The unexpected twist. 

After the shocking turn of events, WYFF News reached out to Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands who gave the following 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.”

After a roller coaster ride of emotions, social media wasn’t exactly sure how to react to the shocking revelation. 

And many seemed rather conflicted by the arrest after what McGowan had done for the Girl Scouts.


The real question, though, is where do all those cookies go?

This is a developing story.


Written by Dennis Matthew Livesey

Matt is a writer, designer, and native New Yorker. He has worked in film, where he enjoyed a brief career as a stand-in for Ian Holm; finance, where he pretended to understand his job, and real estate, where nothing remarkable happened. He writes about science, technology, and media. His work includes magazine articles, one published book, and the looming inevitability of the second.