A Romanian princess has been accused of running an illegal cockfighting operation from her ranch in Oregon.
Princess Irina, the daughter of the last king of Romania, and her husband, former deputy sheriff John Wesley Walker, pleaded not guilty to charges of running an illegal gambling operation and conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act.
Investigators say two informants covertly filmed cockfights over a course of a year, with footage showing Princess Irina selling alcohol and food to spectators.
As part of the couple’s arrest, investigators seized cash, financial documents, mobile phones, firearms and fighting implements.
Needles and a substance believed to be methamphetamine were also found at the property. Authorities say chickens are often heavily drugged before fighting in order to improve their performance.
Princess Irena was born in Lausanne, Switzerland, the third daughter of Michael I - the last king of Romania who was forced to abdicate in in 1947 after the Communist Party took control of the country.
She is a great-great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria and, as her father’s abdication was considered “forced and illegal”, her family still use their royal titles, despite having no political power.
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