Princess Busted for ... Cockfighting?

Irina Walker charged in two-state cockfighting ring bust

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 16, 2013 8:49 AM CDT

(Newser) – The princess and the ... rooster? A Romanian princess and her husband (a former sheriff's deputy) were arrested in Oregon yesterday in connection with an alleged two-state cockfighting ring. Some 26 others were detained across Oregon and Washington. Prosecutors allege John and Irina Walker, daughter of King Michael I, held at least 10 cockfighting derbies—complete with line-ups that the Oregonian likens to "a fight card in a night of boxing"—at their Irrigon ranch as part of a "fairly large-scale cockfighting venture" that supported illegal gambling.

The derbies, featuring roosters with blades attached to their legs, brought in as much as $2,000 apiece from spectator admissions and food and drink between April 2012 and April 2013, the AP reports. Charged with operating an illegal gambling business, conducting unlawful cockfighting ventures, and conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act, Walker and her husband could see jail time, millions in fines, and the seizing of their ranch, reports the Los Angeles Times. The Oregonian adds that the 60-year-old princess, raised in Switzerland and living in Oregon since 1983, has been to Romania only a few times.

Roosters prepare to attack each other during the Jonbeel festival near Jagiroad, India, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.
Roosters prepare to attack each other during the Jonbeel festival near Jagiroad, India, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)
Irina Walker, 60.
Irina Walker, 60.   (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
John Wesley Walker, 67.
John Wesley Walker, 67.   (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office)
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