A plea was taken from Matthew “Trig” McClain of Columbus.

Ron Welch
Muskingum County Prosecutor


Friday, December 8, 2023

Man Faces Justice In Muskingum County after Half-Decade on Franklin County Bond

A plea was taken today from Matthew “Trig” McClain of Columbus, for the counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and extortion. McClain and his co-defendant Colton “Chase” Vinyard have been a long-time major source of illegal drugs supplied in the Zanesville area, taking over the territory of Deangelo “D Lo” Tellis and Victoria “Vic” Barrientos.

In 2018, a Franklin County jury acquitted McClain of a drive-by shooting after his father perjured himself at trial. The father was later sent to prison for perjury. A few months later McClain was charged with being a major drug offender in numerous counts in Franklin County, and thereafter released on bond. That case, from 2018, remains pending and unresolved in Franklin County. While that indictment was awaiting justice, McClain was charged in 2019, again in Franklin County, with felonious assault by using a firearm, he was again released on bond. That case also remains pending and unresolved.

On May 3 of this year, a motion was filed to the Franklin County judge handling his cases, requesting that McClain’s bond be revoked, after the facts underlying the charges filed in Muskingum County were presented. Those facts included McClain being caught with yet more firearms, and yet more major drug offender quantities of drugs. The judge denied the motion and allowed McClain to remain out on bond on his now third pending matter. McClain was subsequently arrested by Muskingum County, given a bond of $1,000,000, and remains in the Muskingum County Jail.

The bond decision represents typical procedures in our state’s capital city, where dangerous, violent, armed felons are permitted to distribute poison and carry guns as they please while the Columbus mayor and city council debate ineffective misdemeanors regarding magazine sizes. Meanwhile, the citizens of Muskingum County have had to suffer the consequences of a half-decade of failed justice against McClain in Franklin County, enduring a violent drug distribution operation touching a wide array of victims in our community.

Both Muskingum and Franklin County residents can breathe easier today, as the Zanesville / Muskingum County Joint Drug Unit and CODE Task Force, in cooperation with the ATF, put together a case on McClain in a county where he received prompt, fair and appropriate attention from the justice system. This conviction and sentence will be sufficient to usher McClain’s violent drug operation into retirement, and to stand as a warning to others that they should confine their criminal activities to the communities that tolerate that type of behavior.

McClain will serve fifteen (15) years in prison related to the drugs he was selling and a drug addict whom he beat severely over a drug debt of $60.00. Overall seizures involved in the investigation totaled greater than nine kilograms of fentanyl, a quarter-kilo of cocaine, and dozens of firearms.

“Time and time again we hear from drug dealers who have been caught, promising to move away from Muskingum County and never come back,” observed John Litle who handled the case. “But it is too late once they are caught. Hopefully Trig and Chase’s cases can add to the loud warnings we have given that supplying drugs to anyone in Zanesville is a recipe for decades of prison.”

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Man Faces Justice In Muskingum County after Half-Decade on Franklin County Bond