Holtzman, others waive gambling cases
Forward Township police Chief Mark Holtzman and three others facing criminal charges for their alleged involvement in an illegal Mon Valley gambling operation waived their cases to court Thursday morning.
Holtzman, 57, of McKeesport is charged with gambling devices, conspiracy and two counts of corrupt organization.
Holtzman was accompanied by his attorney Chuck LoPresti at preliminary hearing before Forest Hills Magisterial District Judge Thomas Caulifield.
Charges against Holtzman stem from an investigation by the Attorney General's Organized Crime Section and state police centered around alleged gambling ring leader Ronald “Porky” Melocchi Sr., owner of Glassport-based Back Alley Vending.
“I can't get into discussions that I'm having with my client,” LoPresti said. “I can tell you procedurally today what we did was waive the case, in its entirety with no amendments, into court. We intend to continue to have discussions with the attorney general's office. We respect what they've done so far. Hopefully we'll be able to make something very positive happen here as a result of all the negativity that's occurring. That's my goal here. It's no secret. We're just trying to save a guy's life and a guy's job.”
Holtzman, a McKeesport Area school director and retired McKeesport police sergeant, remains Forward Township's police chief as the case continues.
Clairton Municipal Authority board member James Cerqua, 57, of Clairton, waived to court charges of dealing in proceeds of illegal activity, gambling devices, pool selling and bookmaking and two counts of corrupt organization.
Rodney Elia Iannelli, 53, of Ohio Township, waived to court charges of dealing in proceeds of illegal activity, lotteries, conspiracy and two counts of corrupt organization.
Terence P. McNelis, 52, of White Hall, waived to court charges of corrupt organization, dealing in proceeds of illegal activity, lotteries, pool selling and bookmaking and conspiracy.
A preliminary hearing for Twin Oaks owner Mark Novakovich was postponed to Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. at the defense's request.
Novakovich, 55, of White Oak is charged with gambling devices.
Formal arraignment for those who waived on Thursday is Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. at Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Victim identified in fatal shooting in West Mifflin
- Ice jam wipes out McKeesport’s marina
- Seuss stories inspire ‘math in a hat’
- Elizabeth Township, McKeesport impacted by ice jam on Youghiogheny River
- West Mifflin dog blamed in toddler’s death set to be euthanized
- School officials hopeful of seeing increases in education funding under Wolf plan
- Upgrades anticipated for Port Vue police equipment
- Winter weather likely to shorten summer vacation, delay commencement in East Allegheny
- Day of prayer at McKeesport church shines light on HIV, AIDS
- Wilmerding has big plans for borough’s 125th anniversary
- Forward Township couple, Florida man arrested in drug sting