AG: 16 charged in connection with all...

AG: 16 charged in connection with alleged illegal gambling operation in McKeesport

There are 1066 comments on the WPXI story from Sep 5, 2013, titled AG: 16 charged in connection with alleged illegal gambling operation in McKeesport. In it, WPXI reports that:

Charges have been filed against more than a dozen people accused of being involved in alleged illegal gambling operation in the McKeesport area, authorities said.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WPXI.

Honey Bee of the Year

Mckeesport, PA

#349 Dec 24, 2013
Some People wrote:
<quoted text>
And you don't see why you are being made fun of? Bewear or beware? Ha, didn't make it past the 4th grade did you? Surprised you can use a computer
BEWEAR!!!!!!
Is BEWEAR clothing designed for honey bees?
OPERATION GREYLORD

Tampa, FL

#350 Dec 24, 2013
Read JUDGE PIMPING AND ROBE MUNCHING by mark ciavarella , mike Conahan , mike Raphan , gerald garson and Jean Afluenza Boyd..........see how an arrest is never a conviction when the kosher nostra , little farvel Alvin Jupiter and the AIPAC fifth column throws around some grifter cash.
Ebonics

Elizabeth, PA

#351 Dec 24, 2013
Honey Bee of the Year wrote:
<quoted text>
Is BEWEAR clothing designed for honey bees?
New ghetto clothing line. As in "I be wearin"
Ivonics

Mckeesport, PA

#352 Dec 24, 2013
Ebonics wrote:
<quoted text>
New ghetto clothing line. As in "I be wearin"
I got you and Ebonics is diametrically opposite in taste and style to Ivonics.

The zoot suites and hoodies are in contrast and out of the past.
Confucius say

Mckeesport, PA

#356 Jan 1, 2014
"You cannot hang with negative people and expect to be positive"

"If things do not go right for the 16 indicted in 2014 then they should turn left"
Andy

West Mifflin, PA

#358 Jan 2, 2014
Did anyone notice the poor old gray haired lady from Glassport on the front page of the Daily News today? She has to tuen her thermostat in her home down to 66 degrees to help cut cost of her heating bill. She is presently on the LIHEAP program to assistance to help her pay her utilities. This is a disgrace. While council gets their monthly stipend these poor older folks in Glassport hace to pay high taxes and cut back on their needs a home. Why cant council members donate their pay to these kind of people in the borough, instead they would rather use that money they get to make car payments, dine out, buy booze and drugs, while we have seniors in this town struggling to pay their ulitities and council paychecks. ALL SCUM CROOKS RUNNING THIS TOWN !
You all should be ashamed to let older people like this suffer because of the greed on council!! NEXT TIME VOTE OUT THE SCUM! They are having a good time on tax payer money !!!! ALL SCUM CROOKS WHO ONLY CARE ABOUT A MONTHLY PAYCHECK!! CRAWL BACK INTO YOUR HOLES COUNCIL PEOPLE!!!
The Noose Tightens

Mckeesport, PA

#363 Jan 15, 2014
Last 8 of 16 Mon Valley gambling ring suspects arraigned

By Patrick Cloonan

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, 4:36 a.m.


The legal process is moving forward for “Operation Pork Chop” defendants charged with gambling-related counts.

Formal arraignment for the last eight of 16 indicted in September by a state grand jury was on Tuesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

Cases were processed against alleged ringleader Ronald “Porky” Melocchi, 55, of West Newton, as well as Daniel K. Carr, Ronald D. Prest, Kirk A. Mollica, Frank C. Reese, Robert H. Bogesdorfer, Catherine Gouker and Mark Novakovich.

All waived charges on Nov. 20 before Magisterial District Judge Thomas P. Caulfield in Forest Hills and will have pre-trial conferences on Feb. 28 at 9 a.m. before Common Pleas Judge Joseph K. Williams III.

Four days later, Eugene T.“Red” Kowalski, 65, of North Huntingdon Township will go on trial in the first of a series of non-jury proceedings before Judge Donald E. Machen.

Kowalski is charged with felony counts of dealing in proceeds of illegal gambling activity, involvement in a corrupt organization and conspiracy.

On March 12, Timothy J. Minkus, 32, of West Mifflin will be tried by Judge Donna Jo McDaniel on felony corrupt organization, conspiracy and gambling proceeds, and misdemeanor lottery, conspiracy and gambling device counts.

In all, 12 of the 16 defendants are charged with conspiracy.

The exceptions are Gouker, 56, of Belle Vernon and Novakovich, 56, of White Oak who are charged with misdemeanor counts of allowing gambling at the Glassport Diner and Twin Oaks, respectively; Arthur D. Pero, 57, a retired McKeesport police lieutenant, who goes on trial on March 26 before Judge Beth A. Lazzara on two misdemeanor lottery counts; and Jeffrey F. Risha, 59, of Belle Vernon.

Risha is charged with one misdemeanor count of pool selling. He is scheduled to go on trial before Machen with four alleged co-conspirators on April 3, They are Rodney E. Iannelli, 53, of Ohio Township; Terence P. McNelis, 52, of Whitehall; James A. Cerqua, 58, of Clairton, who is a member of the city's municipal authority board; and Mark P. Holtzman, 57, of McKeesport, Forward Township's police chief.

Holtzman is charged with one felony ­— corrupt organizations — and a misdemeanor count of allowing gambling at the Coffee Pot in McKeesport.

Cerqua, Iannelli and McNelis each are charged with felony corrupt organization and gambling proceeds, as well as assorted misdemeanors.

In addition to conspiracy, Melocchi is charged with felony counts of corrupt organizations, dealing in gambling proceeds and criminal use of a communication facility, and 51 misdemeanor counts involving gambling devices, bookmaking and numbers activity.

Melocchi's attorney Bruce A. Carsia said in November that his client waived the charges because the legal challenges are not for the magisterial level.

“I think there's some legal issues, some search and seizure issues that have to be addressed,” Carsia said, adding that he plans to challenge wiretaps and other evidence.

Carr, 55, a McKeesport city councilman and owner of the Viking Lounge, is to be tried on a felony corrupt organization count and a misdemeanor count of allowing gambling.

Prest, 65, a retired McKeesport police sergeant, is to be tried on felony counts of corrupt organizations, dealing in gambling proceeds and criminal use of a communication facility, and a misdemeanor gambling device charge.

Mollica, 46, of Elizabeth is to be tried on felony counts of involvement in a corrupt organization and dealing in gambling proceeds, and misdemeanor counts of setting up a lottery and gambling devices.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General's office said the investigation is ongoing and declined further comment.
Justica

Reading, PA

#364 Jan 15, 2014
I hope they have all the marching orders on the up and up . who knows where search and seizure , wiretaps will influence any Pa judge , especially where there is so much money involved and the prospectus to make more . They may not feel like they got a good enough shake from the casinos and ponies compared to a bagfull of money with no strings attached . I know pa from nepa to the west and our legislators and judges aren't running on all cylinders.
Sing Sing

Mckeesport, PA

#366 Jan 15, 2014
Now that the trial dates have been selected, the Opera will open its final act.

Those charged with dreaded felonies could be warming up to sing?

Will the singing just accentuate the already indicting culprits?

Or, will the singing implicate culprits that have been running under the radar so far?

Stay tuned and seated for Act III to upfold.
Will Act III Begin Next

Mckeesport, PA

#367 Jan 16, 2014
Sing Sing wrote:
Now that the trial dates have been selected, the Opera will open its final act.
Those charged with dreaded felonies could be warming up to sing?
Will the singing just accentuate the already indicting culprits?
Or, will the singing implicate culprits that have been running under the radar so far?
Stay tuned and seated for Act III to unfold.
Act III could unfold, since it is apparent that Act II has essentially been completed this week with the scheduling of all trial dates. It now seems that all that is left are the plea bargains between now and the trial dates.

I would assume that the lawyers are deeply engaged in trying to work out mutually acceptable plea bargains.

Plea bargains are excellent because it is an impeccable source of inside information --- who is the bag person and what was their itinerary? IMO this is what this episode is all about -- the bag person or persons and their routes, if they are real and identifiable?.

But, wait - all of the above applies to the 16 culprits indicted so far. How about those not indicted, if any. Recall that over 50 establishments were raided by the PSP and AG ---- but only 16 indictments presented? This fails the calculus logic test!

I predict that before fireworks day that more indictments could be served. The AG and PSP now have opportunities to gather more penetrating information from the three confidants mentioned in the search warrant affidavit, plea bargains, continuing PSP covert operations, and other unnamed precious sources of incriminating information.

It is so logically simple that you do not raid over 50 establishments, confiscate over 350 video devices, intercept communications of the culprits and a esteemed elected state official, and only come away with 16 indictments.

It just does not seem to logically compute and it does not seem to complete ACT III until the obese female crows out THE OMEN OF MORE INDICTMENTS!

This is purely speculation on my part and could be just my over zealous mythical imagination. Only time will tell if more justice prevails.

Mike Ference

Pittsburgh, PA

#368 Jan 16, 2014
I'm sure the Zappala Crime Family/Terrorist Group is working diligently behind the scenes to make this all go away.

That's why I call it Synchronized Crime.
Justica

Reading, PA

#369 Jan 16, 2014
At one time all of Pa was into illegal booze, gambling, prostitution, loan shark , a number could be played in any bar in any town big or small. Nepa was a favorite burial ground for any body disposal in and around coal mines , by dumping or stuffing caskets simulating a legal burial. Funeral directors had their ways of offers they couldn't refuse . If you think the pattern has changed shake your head . It hasn't .
Godfather VI Theme

Mckeesport, PA

#370 Jan 16, 2014
Justica wrote:
At one time all of Pa was into illegal booze, gambling, prostitution, loan shark , a number could be played in any bar in any town big or small. Nepa was a favorite burial ground for any body disposal in and around coal mines , by dumping or stuffing caskets simulating a legal burial. Funeral directors had their ways of offers they couldn't refuse . If you think the pattern has changed shake your head . It hasn't .
Sounds like a setting and theme for Godfather IV?
The Nepa way

Reading, PA

#371 Jan 16, 2014
Godfather VI Theme wrote:
<quoted text>
Sounds like a setting and theme for Godfather IV?
It wouldn't have made it into any of the godfather flicks . Blood and guts in an alley or eating spaghetti with blood dripping all over the table didn't have the same effect as some stiff stuffed into your grandmothers casket . Even the Mob giving advice on gang activities for the movie hed more class ? I often wondered why they couldn't bury my aunt in the paid for grave beside her parents . It was explained they found old soldiers bones while digging and didn't want to disturb them . I had a large family and couldn't believe I was the only one that voiced it was a bulshitte story . It took a while but I finally got it .
Bootleg Resting Places

Mckeesport, PA

#372 Jan 16, 2014
The Nepa way wrote:
<quoted text>
It wouldn't have made it into any of the godfather flicks . Blood and guts in an alley or eating spaghetti with blood dripping all over the table didn't have the same effect as some stiff stuffed into your grandmothers casket . Even the Mob giving advice on gang activities for the movie hed more class ? I often wondered why they couldn't bury my aunt in the paid for grave beside her parents . It was explained they found old soldiers bones while digging and didn't want to disturb them . I had a large family and couldn't believe I was the only one that voiced it was a bulshitte story . It took a while but I finally got it .
Wow! Another plausible theory to explain the final resting place for Mr. Hoffa.

I like the old soldiers bones story - that was over the top!
The Nepa way

Reading, PA

#373 Jan 16, 2014
Bootleg Resting Places wrote:
<quoted text>
Wow! Another plausible theory to explain the final resting place for Mr. Hoffa.
I like the old soldiers bones story - that was over the top!
It's true . I'd like to pass the locations and stories on to my children but it gets old as time passes . Most of the other stories got passed to me at funerals . I was sort of like the family historian and got a lot of the older pictures of people I never knew .

Here's the wrinkle to the old soldiers bones story . My aunt who couldn't be buried next to her parents was an undertaker . Hoffa ??? No idea , lets not go digging around old cemeteries in the coal hills .
Thanks for showing interest,
Peace
Barely Know Him

Mckeesport, PA

#374 Jan 17, 2014
Who will be the first of the those scheduled for a non-jury trial to be publicly reported as striking a plea bargain? I suspect at least one in about a week or so.

Carr has no logical option except a plea bargain.

Carr, Kowalski, Holtzman, or the Porkster? It will be a person who was charged with a felony or felonies.

Who is the phantom bag man or men that seems to be lurking under the radar? That is the key to unlocking Pandora's box forcing the collapse of the house of corrupt cards.

I barely know the phantom bag man.
Barely Know How 2 Plea

Mckeesport, PA

#375 Jan 20, 2014
Plea Agreement

Most cases, civil or criminal end in a plea agreement. In fact, less than five percent (5%) of criminal cases go to trial. Indeed, the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved through a written plea agreement in which the defendant waives the right to trial and admits guilt of criminal activity in exchange for the most serious charge(s) being dropped by the District Attorney. Of course, the purpose of entering into a plea agreement from the defense perspective is to reduce the punishment the defendant may receive from the sentencing judge.

A defendant my also seek a plea agreement to quickly resolve the case and avoid the risk and stress of trial. The District Attorney seeks plea agreements to guarantee the conviction and to evade the burdens of trial.

The decision to seek or accept a plea agreement is within the defendant's complete control; however, it is a lawyer's obligation to fully explore the option and explain all the risks and benefits of entering into a plea agreement or going to trial. The defendant's choice to plead guilty should also be a highly informed decision and made only after the criminal defense lawyer fully reviews and analyzes the entire case and thoroughly discussed it with the defendant.

In Luzerne County, sentencing following a plea agreement is generally left to the judge's discretion. In other words, a plea agreement that includes a pre-determined sentence agreed upon by the defense attorney and District Attorney are rare in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.

If a defendant decided to plead guilty a plea date is scheduled. At the guilty plea hearing the judge will evaluate the defendant to determine if the plea is knowingly and voluntarily entering the guilty plea. After the plea is entered the defendant may be sentenced immediately or sentencing can scheduled to allow the judge to further review the case and the defendant's background through a Pre-Sentencing Investigation Report (PSI). A PSI report is prepared by the court's probation department and provides an outline of the crime, the defendant's personal background and social history, and the defendant's criminal record. In most cases, both the defendant and the victim are contacted by probation to assist in the completion of the PSI.

If the sentencing hearing is scheduled a defendant who is free on bail will usually remain free until the date of sentencing.
Wow the Feds mean busines

Mckeesport, PA

#376 Jan 20, 2014
The dreaded question and big worry for the Porkster dynasty is the following. Looks like the Feds nailed the bad illegal gambling guys in Jackson, Miss. Will they jump in when the AG is done? And the feds confiscated their properties. This could give the Porkster, Red, and Dan something to ponder about. You can run but you cannot hide from the Feds. And, they only seized about $125,000. Where are you Feds - the City need you to eliminate this rampant corruption.

Jackson, Miss. A federal grand jury returned an indictment against eight people from Meridian in connection with alleged illegal gambling operations.

The Indictment charges: 79-year-old William "Bill" Gordon, Sr., 76-year-old Mildred Gordon, 55-year-old William "Wayne" Gordon, Jr., 50-year-old Nellie Miller, 24-year-old Cameron Gordon, 54-year-old Dennis Michael Gordon,
50-year-old Richard McKissack, and 38-year-old Christopher Crawford.

The U.S. Attorney's office each faces one count of Conspiracy to Commit a Federal Offense under 18 U.S.C.§371.

All but Dennis Michael Gordon are also charged with
Count 2, operating an illegal gambling business, under 18 U.S.C.§1955.

The maximum penalty for each offense is five years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.00.

The defendants are scheduled to appear for arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge F. Keith Ball Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the U.S. Courthouse in Jackson.

According to the indictment, the charges are associated with the operation of illegal gambling businesses from November 2011 through at least May 14, 2013, at the following locations in Meridian: The Snack Shack, located at 1479 Highway 11 & 80; The Sports Connection, which is commonly referred to as “the Log Cabin”, located at 501 46th Avenue; and The New Place, located at 401 23rd Avenue.

Federal investigators allege that the defendants would accept illegal wagers on the outcome of college and professional sporting events, then collect and remove the wagers from these locations and grade the bets based on the outcome of the wagered event to calculate winnings and losses for those persons placing the wagers.

They say the defendants would pay people with winning wagers and keep the remaining funds for their personal use and benefit.

The indictment also says the defendants would possess, own, control, display, operate, and expose for play illegal gambling and gaming devices, such as illegal video poker machines.

The U.S. government intends to seek criminal forfeiture of eight pieces of real property in Meridian associated with the alleged criminal conduct, as well as approximately $125,905.15 in U.S. currency seized from locations.

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
Thr NEPA way

Reading, PA

#377 Jan 20, 2014
We'll stay tuned , thanks for the info. Mississippi is a long way from PA . Illegal gambling was always a mainstay in Pa with the columbo and other mob guys in on the action . This stuff always had a NJ and NY influence . Lots of locals connected through Wilkes Barre , Scranton .
Be watching , thanks .

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