Published on August 21st, 2013 | by Daniel R. Perlman0
Heir to Romanian throne charged with operating cockfighting ring
HRH Princess Irina, third daughter of the exiled King Michael I, fifth in line to the Romanian throne, has been charged with operating a large cockfighting ring out of her ranch in Eastern Oregon, because living in Eastern Oregon will do that to you.
According to prosecutors, Irina and her husband (a former sheriff’s deputy, natch) were among 28 people indicted after a massive federal crackdown on cockfighting. The princess and her husband allegedly hosted at least 10 derbies, and they sound like quite the social events:
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.
Irina faces 12 counts of things usually reserved for commoners, like “operating an illegal gambling business” and “conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act.” Each count carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Her father released a statement after her arrest. If you read between the lines, you can hear him wondering aloud why she couldn’t be more like her sister, Princess Elena. Always so proper, that one. Would never do a thing like move to rural Oregon and become the Don King of sanctioned rooster murder, not her:
“His Royal Majesty King Michael I has learned with profound sadness of the events surrounding Princess Irina of Romania, his daughter. 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.”
Michael I was the last sovereign of the Kingdom of Romania, which existed from 1881 until 1947 when he was forced to abdicate by the Communists. Which makes it kind of presumptuous that he’d put that regnal number after his name.
Source: deadspin.com “Heir to Romanian throne charged with operating cockfighting ring,” August 22, 2013.