| Crime |

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

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

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.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.