MOUNT PLEASANT, Pa. – The reputed national president of the outlaw Pagans Motorcycle Club was jailed after a state police SWAT team raided his Pennsylvania home and allegedly found cocaine and methamphetamine.
Dennis "Rooster" Katona is well-known for his ties to the outlaw biker gang, including playing a role in a bloody 2002 rumble with the Hells Angels in New York that sent him to prison for several years.
State police said little about Wednesday's drug raid. Trooper Steve Limani, a spokesman for the Greensburg barracks, put the street value of the drugs at about $20,000, but said he didn't know if the investigation was self-contained or part of a larger probe.
Katona's Hempfield Township home was raided under a search warrant that remains sealed, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the AP. According to the complaint, troopers found more than three ounces of cocaine, nearly four ounces of methamphetamine, a digital scale and an "owe sheet."
Katona was arraigned by video from the Westmoreland County Prison and was ordered held in jail after he was unable to immediately post $750,000 bail. The district judge's staff said he appeared without counsel, and online court records do not list an attorney for him.
Authorities have identified Katona as the national president of the Pagans. The group's former leader was sentenced to federal prison for racketeering in December, though Katona was not named in two 2009 grand jury documents targeting the gang.
Nine years ago, federal prosecutors in New York identified Katona as the group's national sergeant-at-arms when he pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy for helping lead a Pagans attack on a biker convention in Plainview, N.Y.
In that case, Katona acknowledged that Pagans from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and elsewhere went to the Long Island biker convention in February 2002 to retrieve Pagan property "by force." One man was killed and 10 others injured in the melee. One of 73 Pagans convicted in the case, Katona pleaded guilty in June 2002.
Katona was released from prison in 2006 for the Hells Angels attack. He was not among 55 Pagan members and associates who were indicted by a federal grand jury in Charleston, W.Va., in 2009 on kidnapping, racketeering and other charges. The indictment resulted in guilty pleas and prison sentences for the group's former national president, David Keith Barbeito, 50, of Myersville, Md., and its vice president, Floyd "Jesse" Moore, 65, of St. Albans, W.Va.
A Pennsylvania state grand jury returned a presentment in Pittsburgh, also in 2009, identifying the gang as participating in a drug ring supplied by dealers in Atlanta, but Katona was not named in that investigation either.