Shockwaves were sent through the Chicago Bears’ locker room when the team found out that wide receiver Sam Hurd was arrested on federal drug charges on Wednesday, the result of an investigation that stretched several months and spanned two different NFL teams for which he played.
Hurd, 26, was arrested and taken into custody after allegedly trying to make a deal with undercover federal agents at a restaurant in suburban Chicago to buy as much as 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana a week, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in Dallas.
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The officials say an investigation on Hurd has been underway since July when an individual known as “T.L.” attempted to arrange with a confidential informant to buy about four kilos of cocaine on Hurd’s behalf. T.L. was stopped by agents and a search of the car he was driving turned up $88,000 in cash. But the person said the money belonged to Hurd, that he does maintenance on the football player’s vehicles and that he keeps large amounts of cash in them. Hurd later said that the money did belong to him, and that he made a wire transfer and withdrawal for the money. But a bank statement he provided to ICE officials did not reflect the amount.
At the time, Hurd played for the Dallas Cowboys, but in July he came to the Bears as a free agent, signing a three-year, $5.15 million contract. As the investigation continued, T.L. was said to have attempted to negotiated drug transactions for Hurd in August and September as the NFL season got under way. Earlier this month, Hurd allegedly communicated to the informant that he wanted to buy the drugs and set up a continued operation in Chicago. They agreed to meet and discuss their ongoing business relationship.
On Wednesday, Hurd met with an undercover ICE agent and told him that he wanted to buy five to 10 kilograms of cocaine at $25,000 per kilogram, and 1,000 pounds of marijuana at $450 per pound, each week to put on the streets of Chicagoland. He also said that he was already moving about four kilos per week, but the supplier couldn’t give him enough of the drug. The agent gave Hurd a kilo of cocaine, which he took, and said he’d make arrangements to pay for it. As he left the restaurant, he was arrested in the parking lot.
Hurd now finds himself facing cocaine conspiracy charges, which carries 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine, if found guilty. U.S. Magistrate Judge Young Kim agreed to release him on $100,000 cash bond. He will next have to appear in federal court in Dallas for arraignment.
Roy Williams, who played three seasons with Hurd in Dallas, expressed his dismay: “It’s a situation that I don’t want anyone to be in, especially a close friend or a teammate,” Williams said. “Especially a guy from Texas, with a wife and daughter.”
Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith said little, only stating: “I just know there is disappointment now with our entire football team.”
Hurd signed with the Cowboys in 2006 and came to the Bears on July 29 as the NFL lockout wound down. As wide receiver this season he had eight catches for 109 yards.