A McKeesport city councilman, a Frank Sinatra impersonator, the Forward police chief and two other former McKeesport police officers were charged this morning with being part of a large-scale video gambling ring operating in the Monongahela Valley.
Pennsylvania State Police charged 16 people with a variety of gambling offenses after a months-long grand jury investigation that involved wiretaps and a Dec. 11 raid that confiscated 335 video gambling machines from about 70 different locations throughout the Mon Valley.
All of the defendants were arraigned this morning before Forest Hills District Judge Thomas Caulfield and were released on non-monetary bond. They face preliminary hearings Sept. 12.
Among them were Forward police Chief Mark Holtzman, a onetime McKeesport deputy chief, and the suspected ringleader of the alleged video gambling ring, Ronald “Porky” Melocchi, of West Newton.