As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Princess Faces Charges Over Cockfighting Ring

A Romanian princess and her husband, a former US sheriff's deputy, are among several people arrested in connection with an alleged cockfighting ring in Eastern Oregon.

Irina Walker, 60, and John Wesley Walker, 67, are accused of hosting cockfighting derbies and illegal gambling at their ranch outside the small Morrow County town of Irrigon.

The Walkers and four other people from Irrigon and Hermiston were to be arraigned in federal court in Portland on charges of operating an illegal gambling business.

Twelve others from Oregon and Washington face lesser charges of conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act through illegal animal fighting.

They were due to be arraigned in Portland and Yakima, Washington State.

A US indictment said 10 different cockfighting derbies were held at the Walker's ranch between April 2012 and April 2013, bringing in as much as $2,000 (£1,300) a day.

Blades were attached to the birds' legs, spectators were charged admission, and food and drink were sold, the indictment said.

The four others charged with being part of the gambling business are Mario Perez, 62, of Hermiston; David Sanchez, 29, of Irrigon; Jose Luis Virgen Ramirez, 48, of Hermiston; and Aurelia Garcia Mendoza, 33, of Irrigon.

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