A Romanian princess living in Oregon and her former sheriff’s deputy husband were arrested in a sweeping cockfighting ring bust in Oregon — charged with operating an illegal gambling business and unlawful animal fighting ventures.
Police say Princess Irena Walker, the third daughter of the exiled-from-the-thrown King Michael I, was operating a cockfighting ring with her husband John Wesley Walker from their home near Irrigon in eastern Oregon. The sting netted the arrests of 18 people in what federal prosecutors say was a sweeping underground cockfighting ring.
The indictment alleges that the derbies featured dozens of cockfights in a ring, much like a fight card in a night of boxing. But the combatants were roosters, each with knives, gaffs or other cutting instruments attached to their legs, fighting to their deaths in a blood sport now outlawed in all 50 states.
… A referee supervised the fights as concessionaires sold beer and food, and those managing the action took a 10 percent “house” cut, prosecutors allege.
The royal family issued a statement following her arrest.
“His Royal Majesty King Michael I has learned with profound sadness of the events surrounding Princess Irina of Romania, his daughter,” the statement read. “His Majesty and the entire royal family hope that the American justice system and the courts of the state of Oregon will solve this case in the fairest and quickest way possible.”
The Kingdom of Romania was last ruled by Michael I, who was forced into exile by a communist revolt. The family now has no official ties to the country but remain popular.
Princess Irena, 60, is fifth in line to the thrown.