It was a few minutes before midnight on March 3 when four police officers arrived at room 624 of the Residence Inn in Irving, Texas, responding to a report, by the hotel's manager on duty, of noise and possible prostitution. Officer Matt Drumm knocked on the door repeatedly. "We could tell there were a number of people moving around," Drumm said later. "When we did get the door [partially] open, they had the security bar on it. A big cloud of marijuana smoke came out."
The door was shut for another minute, according to police, and then completely opened by a young woman in a black miniskirt and halter top. Behind her was another woman, also dressed, and two men, tall and muscular, wearing pants but no shirts or shoes. Inside the split-level hotel suite, police found two dinner plates. On one, the officers would report, was cocaine; on the other, cocaine and marijuana. Handcuffs came out. A voice emerged. "Hey," said one of the men, "can I tell you who I am?"
"I know who you are," Drumm answered.
Football players, shrouded in helmets and padding while on the job, are not commonly recognized away from the field, but Michael Irvin, the Dallas Cowboys' brash and media-friendly receiver, is easy to spot. He has been on three triumphant Super Bowl teams and five Pro Bowl teams. He cohosts TV and radio shows in Dallas and is a partner in a clothing company and a charitable foundation. He is coming off his best season as a pro and is in the second year of a five-year, $14.5 million contract. He grew up poor in Fort Lauderdale in a house with 16 siblings. Now Michael Irvin lives large. He has a wife, Sandi, who was a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, and two children, Myesha, 6, and Chelsea, five months. He lives in a suburb north of Dallas and spends his money all over town.
But on March 3, two days before his 30th birthday, Irvin was in a $119-a-night hotel room with two "self-employed models," Angela Renee Beck, 22, and Jasmine Jennifer Nabwangu, 21, and a former University of Miami and Cowboys teammate, tight end Alfredo Roberts, who is one of Irvin's business partners. There was a party in progress, no doubt about that. The officers reported seizing nearly three ounces of marijuana and almost two ounces of cocaine, and paraphernalia, including rolling papers, razors, a tube used for snorting cocaine and two vibrators. Beck, according to police accounts, claimed sole ownership of the drugs—"This is all mine," she told police as they collected the evidence. "I bought it"—and the police, in accordance with Texas law, arrested only her.
"It is not unusual for us to get loud-party calls and for officers to walk in a room full of people with drugs lying around," says Irving police lieutenant Jimmy Perdue. "We don't arrest everyone in the room. You had somebody saying, 'It's mine, all mine,' and based upon the location of where a lot of it was found, it substantiated her claim that it was hers."
At about 1:15 a.m., the police released Irvin, Roberts and Nabwangu. Beck was booked a half hour later on charges of possession of cocaine and marijuana and was held at the Irving jail. "Obviously she did take the rap for everyone involved," said Perdue.
At 3:50 a.m. Beck received her first visitors: Irvin's lawyer, Kevin Clancy, and another lawyer, Jim Drakeley. "I'm not exactly sure who called me," Clancy said on Sunday, "but somebody said she was in jail. So I said I'll go talk to her and tell her I'll get her out." Beck was released at 11:25 a.m. after posting $5,500 bond. She is being represented by James A. Rolfe, a prominent Dallas lawyer and a friend of Clancy's who has represented a number of celebrities, including singer Kenny Rogers. Nabwangu's lawyer is Kristen Ciccarelli, Clancy's daughter.
Dallas television station KXAS broke the news of Irvin's thwarted birthday party on March 19. Roberts and Nabwangu appeared last Thursday before a grand jury investigating Beck's arrest. (The attorneys for both declined to make their clients available for comment.) Dallas County prosecutor Norm Kinne did not rule out the possibility of others being charged, saying, "It is very difficult for me to believe, based on the circumstances—the amount of marijuana smoke that came out the door, the drugs scattered in different locations throughout the split-level room—that all of this belonged to one person." On Monday, Irvin and Clancy went to Kinne's office and met with prosecutors for about an hour. Details of the meeting were kept secret by a judge's gag order. However, Irvin remains subject to a grand jury summons.
A woman, unidentified but described as a former roommate of Beck's, last Thursday told KXAS, "I know who brought the coke to the room, and it wasn't Angela Beck. Angela Beck couldn't afford $50 worth of groceries, yet had $1,500 in cocaine? No way." The TV station also reported that the confiscated snorting tube, with cocaine residue in it, was found in Irvin's overnight bag.