My name is Matthew McDonald, Federal Inmate #92254-038. You may or may not remember me, most notably as Matty from Big Brother. Yes, I am one of the idiots from the show who got caught up in a large-scale drug conspiracy. If that doesn’t refresh your memory, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I was on Season 9 of Big Brother and appeared as a guest on Season 10. I’ve also been on Fear Factor and had a few other guest spots, but that was a few years ago and not really relevant to this.
I was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on April 27, 2010 and arrested by the DEA that very same day for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute a whole boat load of oxycodone pills. That day wasn’t fun…let me tell you…but I’ll talk more about that down the line. I had no absolutely no criminal record prior to that, but was denied bail/bond by the Feds due to the fact I was accused of a domestic assault a few days prior to my indictment and because I was supposedly a flight risk? I really can’t talk about the domestic charges because the case is still pending, but I want to firmly maintain my innocence. Listen, I may have been a drug dealer at one point in my life, but I DO NOT hit women. I love women. I may have been an asshole when it came to matters of the heart, but I don’t hit–it’s just not who I am.
Anyway, as far as the drug charges are concerned, I pled guilty in January of 2011, and I was recently sentenced by Chief US Judge Mark Wolf in Federal Court on May 11, 2011. He imposed a sentence of 36 months in Federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, with mandatory drug testing and a hefty $50,000 fine. The judge was quoted saying, “Mr. Mcdonald, you’ll probably end up back on TV after this is all said and done, so you’ll be able to pay this fine off in one lump sum.” Umm…does anyone have 50K I can borrow? lol
I could have taken my case to trial, and made the government prove its case against me, but I didn’t. Even though there was NO physical evidence against me–all they had was a couple of cooperating witnesses (aka rats), some bank records and transactions, and my travel records–during the period of which I was accused. I knew I had to look inside myself, “man up”, and admit what I did. It was time to start taking responsibility for my actions and stop blaming others for my wrongdoings. It was the only way to truly move past this, so I pled guilty. However, it still hurts like hell to know who cooperated against me. For someone to throw away a lifelong friendship in return for a couple of years shaved off of a prison sentence…I don’t know…that’s not something I would do. I’m not mad…just hurt. It is what it is.
Here I am today, blogging my journey through Federal Prison. While most people who are or were in the limelight usually shy away and hide when they get in trouble or sent to prison, I am doing the exact opposite. I want to use this as a chance to share my experience with the world. I realize I have made MANY mistakes and have lacked good judgment, to say the least. I am using my time now as my opportunity to maybe reach out if only to one person. To use my errors as an example of what not to do…or to anyone who is currently addicted…look at my story. I overcame addiction. Yes, I still landed in prison, but that’s not the point. America is inundated with people addicted to these pills. I myself was once addicted…and in a bad way. It is an epidemic…but it can be beaten.
The judge said something to me at my sentencing that really had an impact on me. He said, “Mr. McDonald, you stood here before me today and told me how you got swept up in the fast life and how these pills ruined your life. Mr. McDonald, you sold thousands and thousands of pills. You had a lucrative business, which you did quit in August of 2009, but you could have stopped a year prior. Let me ask you, how many people’s lives do you think you ruined in that time period?” He was so right. I had never looked at it like that before.
Let me get something straight before I go on. I sold pills in bulk from roughly May 2008 to about August 2009. I am not denying that. However, I did quit selling and using drugs on my own. I did this long before any of my other co-conspirators got in any trouble. I realized I wasn’t living right and straightened out my life. They kept on going until they got caught. This is partly the reason why the judge sentenced me to 36 months, instead of the 70 months the DA was asking for.
As far as what the judge said to me, those are words that really opened my eyes. I mean, I’ve always looked at it as being all about me. I sold drugs, I got addicted, I cleaned up, I got in trouble. I got so addicted to the whole “fast life” after the show: money, cars, trips, women, drugs, and my then new found fame…faster than I got addicted to those pills. I never took into account where all these pills were going and whose lives I was ruining while I was making money. It sickens me to even think about it. For that, I truly apologize. Unfortunately, I can’t change the past. I am paying for it now…but I can change my future. So here I am. Just as others helped me through my recovery, I hope to pay it forward. As time goes on, I will be here via third party to blog about my experience through the Federal Prison System…until my release. I don’t have internet access, only e-mail, hence the third party. Also, for anyone who wants to write me, my address will be changing frequently, as I move from prison to prison, around the US. I will update my address as I move. For now, here is my current mailing address:
Essex County Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 807
Matthew McDonald – MSA #0686127
Unit 240C – Cell 702
Middleton, MA 01949-2807