Prosecutors: Agency Defrauded By Former Manager

June 30, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A North Huntingdon Twp. woman was indicted Tuesday in federal court on charges she defrauded the Steel Valley Authority by writing checks to herself, and her creditors, over a six-year period.

Nicolette Gizzi, 44, is charged with five counts of bank fraud and mail fraud, Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song said.

Founded during the economic slowdown of the 1980s and based in Swissvale, Steel Valley Authority is a non-profit agency that arranges financing and grants to support manufacturing in 12 municipalities, including Clairton, Duquesne, East Pittsburgh, Glassport, Homestead, McKeesport, Munhall, Pittsburgh, Rankin, Swissvale, Turtle Creek and West Homestead.

SVA also operates a statewide program designed to help manufacturers restructure their businesses to avoid layoffs. The authority is funded primarily through federal grants.

Gizzi was the financial manager for SVA, prosecutors said. They allege that beginning in December 2009 and continuing through June 2016, Gizzi issued checks to herself and her credit card company from SVA's account, forging the required signatures.

 
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Two Charged in Wrestleplex Burglary

June 30, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Two McKeesport residents face formal arraignment Aug. 25 in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in connection with a burglary at the PWX Wrestleplex on Beacon Street.

Larry D. Bryan, 39, and Brian L. Kellum, 38, are charged by McKeesport police with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and theft by unlawful taking. Bryan is currently free on $5,000 percentage bond, court officials said, while Kellum is free on his own recognizance.

Police said they are still seeking a possible accomplice in the break-in.

The Wrestleplex is a venue for professional wrestling which also broadcasts events on the Internet. According to a police report, McKeesport police were dispatched to the facility off Evans Avenue just before 8 a.m. June 10.

 
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Crime Stoppers Seeks Help in May Homicide

June 30, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Crime Stoppers is asking for the public’s help in connection with the investigation of a murder on Wesley Street in May.

McKeesport police were called to a home in the 1800 block of Wesley Street just after 10 p.m. May 27 after receiving reports that a man had been shot there. Police found Antonio Wallace, 31, lying on the living room floor and suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the back.

Wallace was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

 
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Former Versailles Gun Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to Firearms Charges

June 13, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

The outspoken owner of a Versailles gun shop that closed abruptly a few months ago has pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of illegal firearms, tampering with evidence and witness tampering.

Erik D. Lowry, 37, former owner of Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms on Walnut Street, entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, Acting U.S. Attorney Soo C. Song said today in a prepared statement.

In conjunction with Lowry's guilty plea, a guilty plea to a charge of illegally selling firearms also was entered on behalf of Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms.

Prosecutors allege that Lowry sold firearms at his store and through gun shows on what he called a "cash-and-carry" basis in which he failed to determine whether or not his customers had a criminal record.

In addition, they claim, Lowry acquired what federal officials classified as a "destructive device" --- a 12-gauge shotgun with a high-capacity drum magazine --- but failed to register it, as required, with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

 
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Two Sentenced For Role in Cocaine Trafficking Ring

June 13, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

Two city residents were sentenced to three years in federal prison for their role in a drug trafficking ring that also snared the former postmaster of West Newton.

Jeffrey Turner, 35, and April Racan, 37, also will face five years' probation following their release under the sentence handed down last week by U.S. District Judge Arthur J. Schwab in Pittsburgh.

Federal prosecutors said that from 2011 and 2015, Racan and Turner acted as the local contact persons for an alleged drug dealer in Brownsville, Texas, Dante Lozano. Investigators allege that Lozano mailed dozens of packages of cocaine, weighing about 18 pounds total, to Racan and Turner in Elizabeth and McKeesport.

 
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Suspect Wanted in Connection With Homestead Bank Robbery

June 02, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A Mt. Oliver man is wanted in connection with the robbery of the PNC Bank at the Waterfront in Homestead.

Allegheny County police on Friday obtained a warrant for the arrest of David Payo, 52, on charges of robbery, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property.

Police said that the PNC Bank located inside the Giant Eagle was robbed on May 27. After surveillance photos of the robbery suspect were posted on Facebook, police said, tips from the public identified Payo as a suspect.

Payo is described as white, 5-feet-9, weighing 205 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call Allegheny County Police at (412) 473-3000.

 
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Teen-Ager Charged in Death of His Infant Son

May 31, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport teen-ager has been charged with homicide after Allegheny County police accused him of suffocating to death his four-month-old son.

De-John Johnson, 16, was arrested this afternoon after the Allegheny County medical examiner's office ruled the death of Isaiah Brooks-Leonard a homicide.

He is being charged as an adult, county police Sgt. Scott Scherer said.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office today said Isaiah Brooks-Leonard died of asphyxiation due to smothering. The incident happened at 3:43 a.m. Feb. 6 in a home in the 2400 block of Banker Street in the city, the medical examiner's office said.

Brooks-Leonard died a short time later at UPMC McKeesport hospital, the ME's office said.

Court officials said Johnson is awaiting a preliminary hearing in Pittsburgh Municipal Court on a single charge of criminal homicide.

 

Six Arrested in Saturday Morning Saloon Brawl

May 31, 2017 |

By Jason Togyer | Posted in: Crime and Police News

At least six people were arrested after what police described as a "chaotic" brawl at a bar Saturday morning on Evans Avenue.

McKeesport police said a fight broke out at about 1:55 a.m. inside the Double S Saloon and spilled into the street.

As the first officers arrived, police said, at least 10 people were in the street, "fighting and throwing punches," with another 10 or more watching. One man was armed with a pool cue, police said.

Officers needed pepper spray to subdue two people, while another man was bitten by a K-9 officer and taken to UPMC McKeesport hospital for treatment, police said.

 
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City Man Dead in Wesley Ave. Shooting

May 30, 2017 |

By Staff Reports | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A McKeesport man died Saturday night after being shot in the 1800 block of Wesley Avenue in the city.

Antonio Wallace, 31, was pronounced dead at the scene, said a spokesman for the Allegheny County police homicide unit, which is investigating the incident.

Police said Allegheny County 9-1-1 received a report of a shooting at 10 p.m. Saturday. McKeesport police arrived and found the victim. No further details were released by county police.

 
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W. Mifflin Man Held in Homicide Attempt

April 27, 2017 |

By Submitted Report | Posted in: Crime and Police News

A West Mifflin man was arrested after police said he shot his wife in the chest during a domestic dispute.

The victim was hospitalized in critical condition, police said.

Richard Kadish, 55, is charged by Allegheny County police with attempted homicide and aggravated assault in connection with the incident at the family's home on Rossmoor Drive.

Although the victim's name was not released by police, court records identify her as Karen Kadish.

 
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