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.

Mr WL

Turtle Creek, PA

#143 Sep 12, 2013
Please don't blame the all democrats for what has happened with PORKY. I'm a proud liberal democrat, I guess you would call me a socialist - I know how you feel about section 8, food stamps and welfare recipients. I am white, educated, own my own home but believe NO CHILD should go to bed hungry. Yes some parents are lousy ones. WL you can't educate a child whose brain doesn't get proper nourishment, who doesn't have the peace of mind of knowing where they will be sleeping at night. Yes I know what you will say about personal responsibility and I AGREE. But the bottom line is do we have the children, the babies of the irresponsible suffer even more. Furthermore many parents use section 8 as a means to get a better education for themselves and their families. Do people abuse it? Yes. Punish those people. There are people who use government programs the way they were meant to be used. And by the way The Republican Party shouldn't get a pass on corruption. McKeesport may not be run by the Repubs but many neighboring communities are, in MASD.
atticus

Arlington, VA

#144 Sep 12, 2013
Oh Mike Mike Mike.........you and the Senator and Mr Gergley should learn from history. Making excuses and trying very hard to shine a positive light on "the porks" dealings with the rec board and stating no job is given for donations just looks well Nixon like. He donated money to Sen brewster then is placed on the rec board. Are they related only the Senator and Pork know but perception leads to the belief they are. Mr Gergley......please realize that excuses make it worse. Admit the mistake of the phone conversation do it contritely and ppl will look past it. Also give your brother the advice to give to his boss Mikey to just SHUT UP. WHAT WAS WORSE THE BREAK IN OR COVERUP OF WATERGATE? THE COVERUP!!!!!! Learn from history be smart be contrite and distance yourself from these men. Now on to the distinguished gentleman from the last stool at the Viking. Mr mayor.......... Dan Carr needs to be asked to resign (as.does Porkchop on the Rec Board) this man is a questionable character. Who is the least intelligent man Ihave ever met. How he survives in business is a shock. I believe it is time to form a new party or surrogate of the democratic party. Where we get the average ppl whose bank account is not the reason they run for office. There is curruption in our rec board our rec sports leagues in our ems our police( it would take a novel to cover that) you folks want to change our city save it? Step up!!! THE CHOICE IS IN YOUR HANDS.
Corruption Cop Report

Mckeesport, PA

#145 Sep 12, 2013
atticus wrote:
Oh Mike Mike Mike.........you and the Senator and Mr Gergley should learn from history. Making excuses and trying very hard to shine a positive light on "the porks" dealings with the rec board and stating no job is given for donations just looks well Nixon like. He donated money to Sen brewster then is placed on the rec board. Are they related only the Senator and Pork know but perception leads to the belief they are. Mr Gergley......please realize that excuses make it worse. Admit the mistake of the phone conversation do it contritely and ppl will look past it. Also give your brother the advice to give to his boss Mikey to just SHUT UP. WHAT WAS WORSE THE BREAK IN OR COVERUP OF WATERGATE? THE COVERUP!!!!!! Learn from history be smart be contrite and distance yourself from these men. Now on to the distinguished gentleman from the last stool at the Viking. Mr mayor.......... Dan Carr needs to be asked to resign (as.does Porkchop on the Rec Board) this man is a questionable character. Who is the least intelligent man Ihave ever met. How he survives in business is a shock. I believe it is time to form a new party or surrogate of the democratic party. Where we get the average ppl whose bank account is not the reason they run for office. There is curruption in our rec board our rec sports leagues in our ems our police( it would take a novel to cover that) you folks want to change our city save it? Step up!!! THE CHOICE IS IN YOUR HANDS.
A cover up by late Mayor Bendel covered up for the Honorable Rep Gergely for the missing funds at the Palisades years ago.

A cover up for teacher Mr. Cherepko worked while Ms. D. was falsely fired.

A cover up for MPD overtime by then Mayor Brewster worked to perfection.

A cover up by Mayor Cherepko for a fireman using a city fire truck to attend a hearing;

The cover up and negative and blatant lie cards have been played so many times before with the assistance of the non-probing local news media, WHY NOT USE IT OVER AND OVER?

Yes Carr should resign today from everything. Mike should remove the Pork from the Rec board today.
truth teller

Tempe, AZ

#146 Sep 12, 2013
Didnt porky put machines in Rege Mclaughlins Elbow Benders Association? It says that clearly in the affidavit, the pork talks about it!! Says meeting with Mclaughlin's former partner ken kohl to put them in! Why is he dropping dimes when he actually profited from the illegal activity if he had the machines in his bar? Why isn't he charged? Is he a rat on this or what? He was mayor by default for a few minutes, right? He must be wetting his pants!! Or his depends!
Lizzie Borden

Dravosburg, PA

#147 Sep 12, 2013
truth teller wrote:
Didnt porky put machines in Rege Mclaughlins Elbow Benders Association? It says that clearly in the affidavit, the pork talks about it!! Says meeting with Mclaughlin's former partner ken kohl to put them in! Why is he dropping dimes when he actually profited from the illegal activity if he had the machines in his bar? Why isn't he charged? Is he a rat on this or what? He was mayor by default for a few minutes, right? He must be wetting his pants!! Or his depends!
Axe to grind?
Wheels of Injustice

Mckeesport, PA

#148 Sep 12, 2013
Lizzie Borden wrote:
<quoted text>
Axe to grind?
Mayor Rege is clean. Mayor Rege stopped Jimmy and Pork Chop from "stops" at the Fire House Field circus and the Palisades because that involved city property..
truth teller

Tempe, AZ

#149 Sep 12, 2013
Wheels of Injustice wrote:
<quoted text>Mayor Rege is clean. Mayor Rege stopped Jimmy and Pork Chop from "stops" at the Fire House Field circus and the Palisades because that involved city property..
What? Rege was operating poker machines in his EBA bar and was scolded many times by Brewster while Rege was Council President not to count the money from the machines at the American Legion. Then, while he is profiting from machines at the EBA he personally takes credit for a raid at the Viking Lounge under it's former owner! Isn't that racketeering? Using political position to have competitors raided? Or were McLaughlins machines they only ones really for amusement only? At both his EBA bar and the legion?
Incorruptible

Dravosburg, PA

#150 Sep 12, 2013
truth teller wrote:
<quoted text>
What? Rege was operating poker machines in his EBA bar and was scolded many times by Brewster while Rege was Council President not to count the money from the machines at the American Legion. Then, while he is profiting from machines at the EBA he personally takes credit for a raid at the Viking Lounge under it's former owner! Isn't that racketeering? Using political position to have competitors raided? Or were McLaughlins machines they only ones really for amusement only? At both his EBA bar and the legion?
How long did it take you to come up with that (cough, cough) keen legal opinion?
Smooth sailing

Fombell, PA

#151 Sep 13, 2013
James "Jimmy" Brewster brought that Melocchi into McKeesport! That's your main problem and all those politicians, especially Kortz knew he took dirty money!

Taking the money from Melocchi and giving favors in McKeesport is Ronald Melocchi main claim! He did whatever he wanted under James Brewster. James Brewster endorsed McKeesport mayor Cherepko. All together, and all in the same boat!

Brewster is the captain that brought Ronald Melocchi to McKeesport. The S.S. Viking ship is sinking!
Legal Eye

Mckeesport, PA

#152 Sep 13, 2013
Smooth sailing wrote:
James "Jimmy" Brewster brought that Melocchi into McKeesport! That's your main problem and all those politicians, especially Kortz knew he took dirty money!
Taking the money from Melocchi and giving favors in McKeesport is Ronald Melocchi main claim! He did whatever he wanted under James Brewster. James Brewster endorsed McKeesport mayor Cherepko. All together, and all in the same boat!
Brewster is the captain that brought Ronald Melocchi to McKeesport. The S.S. Viking ship is sinking!
Great accurate summary; Reinforced by the Senator's publicly heard statement: "Porky was always here when the City $needed$ him." You said it James and many heard it! Yea, James we believe you.

You told the Post Gazette that you do not recall any contributions from the Pork while the Daily News was listing all of Pork Chop's contributions to you. Now get your lies straight James.

Now all of disgraced Councilman Carr's political friends and cohorts, like Keith Soles, are keeping some distance from Dan. Dan was heard to say that if he goes down he will take other with him. With that kind of promise or threat I would get as far from him as possible.

His Council friends better hold on and not get sucked under when the USS Viking drops like a coined filled video machine.

A barrage of many more indictments could be aimed in the direction of the disabled USS Viking.

“Change is the only constant”

Since: Jul 10

Location hidden

#153 Sep 14, 2013
Allegheny Agony wrote:
<quoted text>
Mckeesport is in a downward spiral like Detroit where crime goes on and drugs suck you in a death plunge that you can't get out of . There aren't enough jails or initiative to clean up an act that never ends . "allow the problems to continue" is like waiting for the druggies to OD . End of problem .
The users are a symptom of the problem. Cut off the head of the serpent (dealers) and the user problem will rectify itself. They'll either clean up or go somewhere else.
sleeping with the enemy

West Mifflin, PA

#155 Sep 15, 2013
McKeesport connections !!!!!!!!!!

The dangers of illegal gambling include running the operations without oversight to protect consumers. The ill-gotten, untaxed proceeds often pay for political influence, said state investigators.

“When you have money of this magnitude, it often leads to other problems,” said Joe Peters, the attorney general's spokesman and former federal mob prosecutor.

Wiretaps recorded Melocchi bragging about his connections with McKeesport's administration and police force.

“I do whatever I want in that town,” Melocchi told an informant in July 2012, according to an affidavit.

Asked if that assertion is true, McKeesport Solicitor Jason Elash said,“Absolutely not.”

Over the past two years, Melocchi and his family donated $4,050 to the campaign of Mayor Mike Cherepko, who denies the money bought influence. Melocchi donated thousands to other Mon Valley Democrats, including state Sen. James Brewster, a former McKeesport mayor, and Reps. Marc Gergely of White Oak, Bill Kortz of Dravosburg and Ted Harhai of Monessen. All said they returned the money or donated it to charity.

Investigators charged three former McKeesport police officers in connection with Melocchi's operation, including Forward police Chief Mark Holtzman.

Ronald “Eke” Prest, a former McKeesport police sergeant, was Melocchi's partner at Back Alley Vending, authorities said.

Prest referred questions to his lawyer, though he could not provide an attorney's name.

“I don't even know,” said Prest, 65, of White Oak.

Among the first places authorities raided in December was Viking Lounge, a McKeesport establishment owned by City Councilman Daniel Carr — who sneaked out the back door as agents filed in the front. He faces charges and did not return calls seeking comment.

Melocchi believed the bust was politically motivated and that it had to do with Carr.

“Dan is a very good friend, and Dan is getting powerful,” Melocchi told an informant.“And with his powerfulness, he created a lot of enemies, and that's part of the problem.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4687442-74...
Follow us:@triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook
Concerned citizen

Pittsburgh, PA

#157 Sep 15, 2013
I would like to dispute former FBI special agent Roger Greenbank's assertion that the Pittsburgh mob is gone. It's simply been replaced by Synchronized Crime -- and Mr. Greenbank is now part of it The PA Gambling Control Board aka the The Zapalla Crime Family.

Charles Porter the attorney representing our not so distinguished mayor of Pittsburgh Lukey Boy is the son of Chuckie Porter, the former mobster mentioned in the article. He was also partners with our even less distinguished district attorney Stephen Zappala. The arrangement took place prior to Stevie Blunder being appointed to his current position by Common Pleas Court Judges.

We all no these judges are bought and sold like stolen merchandise at an outdoor flea market.

No Mr. Greenbank, the mob is not gone, it's simply been replaced by folks like yourself.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4687442-74 ...
Mike Ference

Pittsburgh, PA

#158 Sep 15, 2013
My guess is that the new version of organized crime, Synchronized Crime aka The Zappala Crime Family may have actually orchestrated the downfall of Brewster and all of his associates including Porky.

Much like the downfall of Vince Fuma. No one had more connections than Mr. Fumo. It's very financially rewarding to get rid of the most highly paid individuals in any organization, especially for the people at the top.

We all no that there are plenty of people in line to take over for all the folks indicted, more importantly, they'll do it for less money.

Just another way to thin the herd.
Red Riding Hood

Dravosburg, PA

#159 Sep 15, 2013
Concerned citizen wrote:
I would like to dispute former FBI special agent Roger Greenbank's assertion that the Pittsburgh mob is gone. It's simply been replaced by Synchronized Crime -- and Mr. Greenbank is now part of it The PA Gambling Control Board aka the The Zapalla Crime Family.
Charles Porter the attorney representing our not so distinguished mayor of Pittsburgh Lukey Boy is the son of Chuckie Porter, the former mobster mentioned in the article. He was also partners with our even less distinguished district attorney Stephen Zappala. The arrangement took place prior to Stevie Blunder being appointed to his current position by Common Pleas Court Judges.
We all no these judges are bought and sold like stolen merchandise at an outdoor flea market.
No Mr. Greenbank, the mob is not gone, it's simply been replaced by folks like yourself.
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4687442-74 ...
When the Trib rolls on Brewster, Gergely and Cherpko you know the wolves are at the door. Brewster and Dick Scaife have had a relationship for years.
Pruneface

Mckeesport, PA

#160 Sep 15, 2013
Red Riding Hood wrote:
<quoted text>
When the Trib rolls on Brewster, Gergely and Cherpko you know the wolves are at the door. Brewster and Dick Scaife have had a relationship for years.
It seems like it did not take Mr. Richard Scaife long to become informed and react accordingly. Yes, Mr. Scaife some of us had a line on him for a some time.

We because suspicious when we could not locate the 150 businesses brought to McKeesport and the his cover up of the MPD Overtime scandal investigated by the DA.

I guess Mr. Scaife you were amused when he said that most of his profits from golf outing are donated to charity. Jimmy loves to play the negativity and charity cards but most of us can read him like a book.
Poker Joe

Reading, PA

#161 Sep 15, 2013
The Mob ???
It's big so I don't think they caught the biggest yet . These poker machines are all over eastern Pa . They have been for years . Now the game cards come out . All illegal , no taxes to pay if you can call payoff taxes .
Guido Sarducci

West Mifflin, PA

#162 Sep 15, 2013
Very seldom do gambling busts of this type result in any kind of serious punishment.I'm sure it's the same in any part of the country,but here in Western Pa,there have only been a couple cases where guys went away as opposed to paying a fine and getting probation.

A lot of money is still made in illegal video gambling and sports/numbers betting,so from time to time a pinch goes down,envelopes change hands,the judges and lawyers play "nudge,nudge,wink wink" and everyone gets back to work till the next "anti-crime crusade".
Allegheny Agony

Reading, PA

#163 Sep 15, 2013
Guido Sarducci wrote:
Very seldom do gambling busts of this type result in any kind of serious punishment.I'm sure it's the same in any part of the country,but here in Western Pa,there have only been a couple cases where guys went away as opposed to paying a fine and getting probation.
A lot of money is still made in illegal video gambling and sports/numbers betting,so from time to time a pinch goes down,envelopes change hands,the judges and lawyers play "nudge,nudge,wink wink" and everyone gets back to work till the next "anti-crime crusade".
Thank you for the insight on gang crime and gambling in Pa Father . It's all on the crime and gambling report and the Catholic Church has been on the leading edge benefiting from the same . Where have we gone wrong ? John McCain was even playing poker on his smart phone during the congressional Syria report ?
A good man , past his time , honored for his Nam time in the Hanoi Hilton but not too smart where he plays poker ?
Allegheny Agony

Reading, PA

#164 Sep 15, 2013
sleeping with the enemy wrote:
McKeesport connections !!!!!!!!!!
The dangers of illegal gambling include running the operations without oversight to protect consumers. The ill-gotten, untaxed proceeds often pay for political influence, said state investigators.
“When you have money of this magnitude, it often leads to other problems,” said Joe Peters, the attorney general's spokesman and former federal mob prosecutor.
Wiretaps recorded Melocchi bragging about his connections with McKeesport's administration and police force.
“I do whatever I want in that town,” Melocchi told an informant in July 2012, according to an affidavit.
Asked if that assertion is true, McKeesport Solicitor Jason Elash said,“Absolutely not.”
Over the past two years, Melocchi and his family donated $4,050 to the campaign of Mayor Mike Cherepko, who denies the money bought influence. Melocchi donated thousands to other Mon Valley Democrats, including state Sen. James Brewster, a former McKeesport mayor, and Reps. Marc Gergely of White Oak, Bill Kortz of Dravosburg and Ted Harhai of Monessen. All said they returned the money or donated it to charity.
Investigators charged three former McKeesport police officers in connection with Melocchi's operation, including Forward police Chief Mark Holtzman.
Ronald “Eke” Prest, a former McKeesport police sergeant, was Melocchi's partner at Back Alley Vending, authorities said.
Prest referred questions to his lawyer, though he could not provide an attorney's name.
“I don't even know,” said Prest, 65, of White Oak.
Among the first places authorities raided in December was Viking Lounge, a McKeesport establishment owned by City Councilman Daniel Carr — who sneaked out the back door as agents filed in the front. He faces charges and did not return calls seeking comment.
Melocchi believed the bust was politically motivated and that it had to do with Carr.
“Dan is a very good friend, and Dan is getting powerful,” Melocchi told an informant.“And with his powerfulness, he created a lot of enemies, and that's part of the problem.”
Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/4687442-74...
Follow us:@triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook
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