Friday, August 16, 2013

Cockfighting Ring Indictees Include Romanian Princess, Former Sheriff's Deputy

Posted By on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM

When Oregon lawmen began rounding up indicted suspects in connection with an alleged cockfighting ring operating in and around Pendleton, Ore., the suspects included a Romanian princess and her husband, who happened to be a former lawman himself.

Among those indicted was 60-year-old Irina Walker, daughter of Romania's King Michael I, who reigned until 1947, when his nation's Communist party forced him to abdicate the throne.

Also arrested was Walker's husband, 67-year-old John Walker, a former Coos County (Ore.) sheriff's deputy.

“Besides being a barbaric practice, cockfighting jeopardizes public health and safety and facilitates the commission of other criminal acts," said U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon Amanda Marshall.

Federal prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of the ranch owned by the couple. The Walkers and four others are to be arraigned in federal court in Portland today, charged with operating an illegal gambling business.

Twelve other participants from Oregon and Washington are being arraigned for conspiracy to violate the federal Animal Welfare Act.

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