Community members remain shocked over local cockfighting arrest
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Three days after a Meyersville man was arrested for cruelty to animals, community members remained shocked about their neighbor's alleged criminal activity.
Ronald Lloyd Dreier, 43, was charged with cruelty to animals, a state felony offense, on Sunday afternoon after DeWitt County Sheriff's deputies raided a cockfighting venue at 15190 Farm-to-Market Road 237.
Upon arrival, law enforcement found dead roosters, four live roosters and syringes, as well as three fighting rings that appeared to have been in use for a long period of time, according to a sheriff's office news release.
Dreier was the only person charged in the raid, though other names of possible cockfighting participants were discovered.
"It's quiet out here," said 55-year-old Meyersville resident Don Wendel. "That really caught me by surprise."
DeWitt County Sheriff Jode Zavesky declined to provide a copy of Dreier's arrest report saying the investigation in ongoing.
Zavesky did, however, discuss the frequency of cockfighting in DeWitt County.
"It is a lot more prevalent than we know, but like the drug world, they do a good job of keeping it under mainstream," said Zavesky. "There's a lot of money in cockfighting."
He added, in Texas, it is not illegal to keep fighting roosters, but it is illegal to fight them.
The culprits tend to be people on all socioeconomic levels, said Zavesky.
"I'm sure it happens more around here than anybody knows," said Robert Moore, owner of the Meyersville Store. "But I didn't think that much was going on around here."
As of Tuesday, no roosters were seen on the property, which is in Dreier's name, according to DeWitt County Tax Assessor records.
However, two large dogs were spotted on the property.
To his knowledge, Wendel said Dreier did not have a reputation of being a troublemaker around the community.
But a search of Texas Department of Public Safety records, showed Dreier had arrests stemming from 1985 to 2002 to various crimes including driving under the influence, criminal mischief, unlawfully carrying a weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
"I hope he learns his lesson," Wendel said. "I don't think he'll be doing that anymore."