Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Former football standout sentenced after bringing drugs to Muskingum County for sale
Marcus McAlister, of Akron, faced Judge Kelly Cottrill Wednesday morning for sentencing on one count of trafficking in methamphetamine, and one count of trafficking in fentanyl.
The offense occurred back in May, when detectives with the Zanesville / Muskingum County Joint Drug Unit and Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force set up a controlled buy of drugs. The detectives knew at the time that Keith Kingsley, 65, of Akron was selling drugs in Muskingum and Coshocton Counties.
The controlled buy was set up for more narcotics than Kingsley typically handled. In Akron, McAlister – who was Kingsley’s supplier – didn’t trust Kingsley to conduct a transaction of that size. McAlister travelled to Zanesville with Kingsley and trafficked the drugs himself. Thereafter he and Kingsley were arrested.
Kingsley, who had a record of in-state and out-of-state felonies spanning decades received a Muskingum County sentence last August, for the maximum term of eight to 12 years in prison. Eight of the years are mandatory and cannot be reduced.
In 2015, McAlister was a highly-coveted defensive lineman at St. Vincent-St. Mary’s High School in northeast Ohio, receiving all-regional honors while maintaining a 3.3 grade-point average.
Under questioning by Judge Cottrill in court Wednesday, McAlister tried to claim he had no knowledge that a drug deal was going down that day, despite being on video serving the drugs and counting the cash. He attempted to claim that he was not a drug dealer, despite his prior conviction for selling drugs with a gun in 2018, in West Virginia, where he was given two years of probation.
McAlister asked for a second chance, despite being on probation for domestic violence at the time of his crime. McAlister apologized to the courts, the police, his wife, and his family. Cottrill asked McAlister whether he would apologize to all the people he had poisoned with the drugs he sold. McAlister did not offer an apology.
Judge Kelly Cottrill then referenced numerous letters of recommendation the court received from family, employees of St. Vincent – St. Mary High School, where McAlister attended in Akron, and from others praising McAlister’s volunteering as a youth football coach. The judge recognized that McAlister had many, many good life opportunities, but instead chose to leave college to sell drugs.
“Do you think that it is appropriate for a drug dealer to be coaching youth sports,” asked Cottrill. McAlister then denied being a drug dealer despite all of the evidence proving he is a drug dealer.
Cottrill sentenced McAlister to prison for eight mandatory years, up to 12 possible years, fined him $7,500, and ordered that he serve 18 months to three years of post-release control at the end of his prison term.
Follow the Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office on Facebook for the most current and complete information.