A Dallas County Grand Jury Indicted Columbia Packing Co. for Dumping Pig Blood into the Trinity River

It's been just about a year since aerial photographs revealed a large plume of what turned out to be blood flowing down Cedar Creek and into the Trinity River. The blood came from pigs, specifically pigs that were being slaughtered at a plant run by Columbia Meat Packing Co.

The city's Board of Adjustment soon yanked the plant's certificate of occupancy, shutting the plant down. The subsequent lawsuit filed by Columbia is still winding its way through the system.

Columbia's owners now find themselves in court for another reason. A Dallas County grand jury indicted both Columbia and its owner, Joe Ondrusek, on a half dozen felony pollution counts each, plus two separate counts of evidence tampering. Ondrusek's son Donny was also charged with evidence tampering.

The pollution charges each carries a maximum five years in prison and $100,000 fine. The evidence tampering charges carry a maximum 10 years and $10,000 fine.

The information passed along this afternoon by district attorney's spokeswoman Debbie Denmon gives a general overview of the investigation into the source of the pig's blood but does not provide specific details about how, for example, the Ondruseks are alleged to have tampered with evidence. The pollution charges are a bit more obvious.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson