Ah, the universe. Such an unpredictable place, riddled with events that are often stranger than fiction. These events are readily recorded and spread through the blessed nature of technology and viral media, connecting us intimately to stories we’d otherwise never hear. One guy felt the sting of karma after going viral for being nice.
It’s Girl Scout cookie season. Arguably the greatest dessert cookies of all time, we understand the need to shell out some money on a few boxes of Thin Mints and Samoas. Which is exactly what Girl Scouts Emerson and Maya were hoping for one chilly winter evening. Lo and behold, after two hours in the cold, they were approached by a kind fella who gave the girls $40 for seven boxes of cookies, told them to keep the change, and went on his merry way. Minutes later, he came back.
“Pack up all of your cookies. I’m taking them all so y’all can get out of this cold,” he said.
He proceeded to buy every last box they had on hand for a total cookie tab of $540. The girls were astonished. The girls’ cookie manager Kayla Dillard was equally astonished at the kindness of the stranger, after all, it was 34 degrees outside. Far too cold for Greenville, South Carolina.
Dillard posted about it on Facebook and the story quickly went viral. This stranger became a sensation across the internet in a matter of hours. All was well, hearts were warmed, then reality came crashing down on the girl scout cookie buying good guy.
There are 1,315,561 lawyers practicing in the United States and the kind stranger now identified as Detric McGowan is going to need a team of several very talented ones. Shortly after McGowan’s viral act of kindness, he was arrested for a list of several drug-related charges. He and ten others were indicted for conspiracy to import heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl into the United States from Mexico with intent to manufacture and distribute in the United States. They were also found with over $1 million in cash with the alleged intent to take it out of the United States.
In 2016 alone, of the 1,186,810 drug-related arrests, 84.7% of them were for possession of controlled substances. McGowan and company certainly one-upped those possession charges when it was found that they had property from which they planned to base their distribution operation.
No good deed goes unpunished. Authorities claim his viral fame days earlier played no role in McGowan’s arrest. Naturally, the Girl Scouts are bummed by how the whole ordeal turned out, but are cooperating in any way they can.
“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,” the Girl Scouts of South Carolina to Midlands said in a statement.
Alleged crimes, little or big, have a way of finding the surface pretty easily. Americans fail to pay $458 billion in taxes each year and surely a few donations won’t save them from an IRS audit. Similarly, Mr. McGowan is learning that crime doesn’t pay, regardless of how generous and kind you are.
On the bright side, at least he has a ton of Girl Scout cookies.
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