Two charged in gambling operation waive hearings

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Two men charged in a suspected Mon Valley gambling ring waived this week their right to a preliminary hearing, while the other 14 defendants have postponed their hearings to various other dates.

Timothy Minkus appeared Thursday before Forest Hills District Judge Thomas P. Caulfield.

Mr. Minkus, 31, of West Mifflin is charged with various gambling-related offenses, as is Eugene "Red" Kowalski, who Wednesday waived his hearing.

Both men were charged in connection with "Operation Pork Chop," an undercover investigation by the Pennsylvania attorney general's office and state police that targeted Ronald "Porky" Melocchi of West Newton and his suspected million-dollar gambling network.

Mr. Melocchi's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21. He is charged with 57 gambling-related crimes.

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