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Thursday, August 10, 2000

Irvin faces pot charge after drug raid

Associated Press Writer
PLANO, Aug. 10, 2000 -- Police looking for someone else arrested former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin for marijuana possession.

Irvin and 21-year-old Nelly Adham of Dallas were arrested at a north Dallas apartment by an FBI task force Wednesday. They were taken into custody at Plano City Jail and charged with possession of less than 2 ounces of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor, Plano Police Department Sgt. Mark Hunt said.

Irvin said he simply was in the wrong place at the wrong time and described the arrest as an unfortunate coincidence.
``I really don't know what went on. I was visiting somebody and the police came looking for somebody else and I was in the house,'' Irvin said after his lawyer signed for his release.

``They tore the house up and they found I guess what you would call a roach, a half a joint, and that's why I got arrested,'' he said.

Irvin said police found ``nothing on me ... They impounded my car, they searched my car, and they found nothing in my car. That's all I gotta say.'' Irvin then departed in a sport-utility vehicle.

Maximum punishment on a Class B misdemeanor is a $2,000 fine and 180 days in jail.

FBI spokeswoman Lori Bailey said officers from a drug task force went to the apartment to arrest a woman for heroin trafficking as part of a regional sweep. The woman named in the warrant was not at the apartment, but Irvin and Adham -- described as a friend of Irvin's -- were there with marijuana, Hunt said.

``This is total happenstance. We had no prior knowledge he was going to be in there,'' Bailey said.

It was the second time in less than five years Irvin was charged with a drug crime. In 1996, he pleaded no contest to second-degree felony cocaine possession in exchange for four years of deferred probation, a $10,000 fine and dismissal of misdemeanor marijuana possession charges from the same incident.

Carl Duke, spokesman for the Plano Police Department, said he understood officers found marijuana on Irvin, but Irvin denied it.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he would reserve comment until he knew more details, noting that in late 1996 Irvin was falsely accused of sexual assault. That claim came five months after Irvin pleaded no contest to felony drug charges.

``I would remind us all that Michael has been a victim of false allegations before,'' Jones said from training camp in Wichita Falls. ``I know this: I'm going to be very sensitive, very careful how I come to any conclusions.''

Irvin, who won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys, retired in July after seriously injuring his neck last Oct. 10 in a game at Philadelphia. He was hired to work on the Sunday pregame show on Fox Sports Net.

``We don't yet have all the facts and until we do, we have no comment,'' Fox Sports Net spokesman Lou D'Ermilio said in New York.

Four days before he announced his retirement, Irvin completed his probation on the 1996 drug charge. The terms included 800 hours of community service. The NFL also suspended him for five games.

In 1998, he cut a teammate's neck with a pair of scissors while horsing around in a dormitory during training camp.
Irvin caught 750 passes for 11,904 yards in his career. At the time of his final play, both figures ranked ninth in NFL history. Of the players ahead of him, only Jerry Rice had as many Super Bowl rings.

Flag football tourney sign-ups continuing

PECOS, Aug. 10, 2000 -- Registration is continuing for a men’s flag football tournament scheduled for later this month in Pecos, with proceeds going to benefit the new Pecos Eagle Pee Wee Football program.

Tournament organizer Jesse Solis said the funds would help finance the Pee Wee program, which will put local third through sixth graders in helmets and pads for the first time in 20 years. It’s designed to help the players get acquainted with regular football before beginning play within the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD in junior high school.

“This program is something I only wished we had as I was growing up,” Solis said. “This could be a key in Pecos becoming competitive with the surrounding communities in the school football programs.”

Registration for the tournament runs through Aug. 24, with play scheduled for Aug. 26-27 at the Pecos High School football practice field. Entry fee for the tournament is $125 per team.

Solis said there would be no roster limits on the teams entered and awards would be given to the first and second place finishers, with all-tournament and MVP trophies depending on the number of teams entered. He added that because the tournament is on school grounds, no alcohol will be allowed in the area.

For further information, call Solis at 447-3757 or 447-9685.

Sign-ups for the Pee Wee football program are continuing through next Friday, Aug. 18 at the Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department, with a registration fee of $20 per player. Teams will be divided into two divisions, for Grades 3-4 and 5-6. Workouts will be held for three weeks following the player draft, with the first games scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Pecos High School practice field.

For more information, call the RCCRD office at 447-9776.

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