Reputed Pagans Leader From Hempfield Released From Jail

Updated:

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa .,None — The reputed leader of the Pagans motorcycle gang, who is awaiting trial on drug charges, is back in his Hempfield Township home after he posted bail on Friday.

Channel 11 News was there as Dennis "Rooster" Katona, 45, was released from jail on Monday.

Katona was arrested on June 29 when state police raided his Hempfield home and found drugs and cash on the property, according to police reports.

Last week, Westmoreland County Judge Debra Pezze reduced Katona's bond by a third, to $500,000. But in doing so, Pezze ordered that if Katona is released from jail, he must be placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring equipped with a GPS.

Katona's wife, Sherri, posted four of the couple's properties as collateral. The homes, valued at nearly $206,000, are in Hempfield, Herminie, Trafford and Sutersville. The remaining $294,000 was posted by bondsman Michael Villi.

"It's important for him to get out of jail because he's in poor health," McCabe said, noting that Katona suffers from degenerative joint and disk disease and a form of leukemia.

"He can get better medical care outside of prison," McCabe said.

As he was leaving jail, Katona blasted spoke to Channel 11's Courtney Brennan.

"Well, I'm glad to be out. Hopefully there will be some justice now. Like I said, the SERT team is a waste of taxpayers dollars," said Katona.

Police conducted a room-by-room search of Katona's Ember Lane home last month and found more than 84 grams of cocaine and nearly 100 grams of methamphetamine, with a street value of $20,000.

The search also turned up nearly $4,000 in cash, a digital scale used to weigh drugs and a document that indicated who owed Katona money, police reported.

Prosecutors have said that Katona serves as the national president of the Pagans and that he served a federal prison sentence after being convicted of racketeering and assault. He was charged in connection with an attack by the Pagans on the rival Hell's Angels in Long Island, N.Y., in 2002, according to prosecutors.

McCabe did not dispute Katona's association with the Pagans, but said he would challenge the most recent criminal allegations, which could result in a mandatory seven-year prison term.

"We're going to pursue procedural and substantiative defenses," McCabe said.

Channel 11 News exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.

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