TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Holtzman, others waive gambling cases

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

By The Tribune-Review

Published: Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 11:09 a.m.

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

Most-Read McKeesport

  1. Local Episcopal priest sentenced in child pornography case
  2. Elizabeth council seeks $500,000 state gaming grant to aid flood recovery
  3. West Mifflin business joins forces with East Allegheny students
  4. White Oak residents can sign up through borough police for county’s new registry
  5. White Oak Republican Peoples removed from primary ballot
  6. Prescription Drug Take Back Day to be observed locally
  7. 2 South Allegheny students earn accolades for environmental awareness artwork
  8. North Versailles magisterial judge “retires” but remains on bench
  9. West Jefferson board approves bids for multiple projects
  10. Pleasant Hills chicken limit questioned
  11. Juvenile found dead in Munhall home
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.