"Won't you two just die already? You're making me look bad! Who do you think got this entire operation off the ground? Research like this doesn't fund itself, you know! Yet everyone looks down on me... but not any more!"
— Irving towards Chris and Sheva
Ricardo Irving (リカルド・アーヴィング?) (c.1979-2009), also known as the "Merchant of Death", was an American black market dealer of bio-weapons who gained a global presence in the aftermath of the Terragrigia Panic. Considered to be a Mammonite, Irving continued his black market dealings despite being the director of the Kijuju oil field, owned by TRICELL Africa, Inc.'s resource development division. Irving was a suspected dealer for some time when the BSAA confirmed his presence in Kijuju, setting off a major operation to bring down his dealings, in what became known as the Kijuju Autonomous Zone Incident.
Irving's activities in the bio-weapons black market date back at least as far as the mid-2000s, by which point he was a senior partner in Tricell's illegal bioweapons research, led by TRICELL Africa's CEO, Excella Gionne and former Umbrella USA researcher, Dr. Albert Wesker. Irving's role in the operation was as the dealer. He sold bioweaponry to terrorist groups across the world, with profits being reinvested in bio-weapons development and footage of the terror attacks used to evaluate the effectiveness of existing B.O.W.s. His legitimate and wealthy business ties not only gave him a reason for traveling across the world should he be investigated, but in being unconnected to Tricell's Pharmaceuticals division the BSAA was fooled into thinking Irving's connection to the company was coincidental. In 2006, Irving was contacted by Patrick, the butler of Umbrella Pharmaceuticals CEO Dr. Oswell E. Spencer, Earl Spencer. Dr. Lord Spencer was close to death, and requested to meet with Dr. Wesker, having been aware that Irving had had dealings with Ada Wong, who could pass on the invitation.
Starting from the Spring of 2008, Irving began using the politically unstable Kijuju region of West Africa as a testing ground for Tricell's latest bio-weaponry, namely the "Type-2" and "Type-3" Plaga species, derived from samples supplied to Tricell by Dr. Wesker years prior. On Saturday 5 April 2008, he travelled from the oil field to main village of the Ndipaya tribe, and warned them of a disease in the area that they needed to be inoculated against. Over the next week the villagers were injected with Type-3 Plaga eggs, which slowly drove the men insane and killed the women and children. Operations involving the Type-2 Plagas took place by mid-December 2008, as Irving began selling samples to Kijujuan nationalists who sought to resume their country's civil war, among him soldiers. The BSAA became suspicious of increasing violence in Kijuju due to the spate of animal mutilations that took place alongside it. On Thursday 19 February 2009, agent Reynard Fisher photographed Irving in a private meeting with soldiers. The BSAA was aware that his air travels abroad from the United States not only took him to locations where bioterrorist attacks occurred, but that his travels took place immediately before and after. His presence in Kijuju verified their suspicions, and an investigation was ordered by senior BSAA SOA Chris Redfield, which confirmed their suspicions and established an approximate date of his next deal on 5 March 2009 with an American buyer.
Due to the presence of spies within the BSAA, Irving became aware of the operation to arrest him and changed a planned deal location with an American buyer to the foreman's office in the local mine, though led the BSAA to his original warehouse location. On Thursday 5 March, a BSAA SOU led by Captain Dan DeChant moved into the warehouse and were set-up by an Uroboros creature created by Jill Valentine, an agent of Dr. Wesker's. The set-up did not go entirely as expected, as although Alpha Team was totally wiped out, they were successful in obtaining important information from his computer which pointed towards the real location of the deal site. Irving, who had remained within the building, narrowly avoided being captured by Bravo Team members Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar. Realising his folly, when Irving escaped the warehouse with Valentine, he contacted his trading partners and called off the deal at the mines, though continued travelling there to collect sensitive materials he had there. When Redfield and Alomar stormed into the building, he was rescued by Valentine and taken to the oil fields. Though he again left behind documents pointing to his next hideout, he began using the B.O.W. transport trucks to his advantage and sent a Majini into the mines driving a truck carrying the experimental Popokarimu he was planning to sell. Finding that the BSAA had sent in Delta Team to continue where Alpha Team left off, he had the Ndesu B.O.W. released from confinement in Kijuju to remove them from the equation as well.
The following afternoon, Irving had not only made his way into the oil field, but had explosives set-up around one of the refineries as part of a plan to kill any BSAA survivors. Setting off the charges as he left on a boat, Captain Josh Stone, Redfield and Alomar were able to get to a boat and kept up the chase. Pushed into a corner and unable to shake-off his pursuers has he tried to move along the river to Tricell's underground lab, Irving had no choice other than to use a Dominant species Plaga on himself; well aware that the random mutations were irreversible, failing to kill his pursuers in the explosion meant either physical death as a human or the loss of his humanity as a mutant. Ultimately, however, even his mutant form was not enough, and he was fatally wounded. Dying on the deck of his yacht, he revealed the location of the secret lab and accidentally implicated Gionne. Nonetheless he remained confident his killers were doomed to share his fate and saw no harm in telling them.