North Huntingdon man gets probation after pleading guilty to Mon Valley gambling ring

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A North Huntingdon man pleaded guilty this morning to one count of having illegal video poker machines.

Eugene “Red” Kowalski, 66, will serve one year of non-reporting probation after being sentenced by Common Pleas Judge Donald E. Machen.

All other charges, including dealing in illegal proceeds, conspiracy and two counts of corrupt organization, were withdrawn as part of the plea agreement.

Mr. Kowalski was one of 16 people charged as part of a gambling ring in the Mon Valley last year. According to the state attorney general’s office, the ring involved a gambling, lottery and bookmaking operation allegedly run by Ronald Melocchi of West Newton.

He is scheduled to plead guilty on June 26 before Judge Joseph K. Williams III.

Several other defendants have already pleaded, and hearings are scheduled later this month and next for four more.

Paula Reed Ward: or 412-263-2620.

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