Chicago Bears  

 

Bears WR Hurd facing federal drug charges after arrest

  • By Associated Press
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CHICAGO -- Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd was locked up in federal custody Thursday as his stunned teammates learned he had been charged with trying to set up a drug-dealing network following his arrest with more than a pound of cocaine.

U.S. Magistrate Young Kim ordered Hurd held until at least Friday while prosecutors and defense attorneys work out bond details before he's sent to Texas to face charges.

The handcuffed Hurd declined to comment on the charges. Asked before the hearing if he still was a member of the Bears, he said: "As far as I know." He shook his head when asked if he had talked to anyone on the team.

Hurd facing drug charges
Bears WR Sam Hurd
was in jail Thursday after authorities accused him
of trying to set up a drug distribution network in the Chicago area.
Complete criminal complaint (.pdf)

"Sam intends to fight these charges, and we intend to defend him fully," said high-profile defense attorney David Kenner, one of Hurd's lawyers. "We have complete confidence in him."

Kenner told The Associated Press that he and partner Brett Greenfield hadn't evaluated all of the information in the case. But Kenner -- who successfully defended rapper Snoop Dogg against murder charges -- said he had other cases where the evidence appeared to be stacked against his client.

"They start off looking terrible, and then we end up with 'not guiltys'," Kenner said.

Kenner and Greenfield said they expected Hurd to be released from custody Friday.

Hurd, 26, was arrested Wednesday night after meeting with an undercover agent at a Chicago restaurant, according to a criminal complaint that says the player was first identified as a potential drug dealer over the summer as the NFL lockout was coming to an end.

Hurd told the agent that he was interested in buying five to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week to distribute in the Chicago area, the complaint said. He allegedly said he and a co-conspirator already distribute about four kilos of cocaine every week, but their supplier couldn't keep up with his demands. A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.

Hurd told the agent "his co-conspirator is in charge of doing the majority of the deals" while he focused on "higher-end deals," the complaint said.

He agreed to pay $25,000 for each kilogram of cocaine and $450 a pound for the marijuana, according to the charges, and then said he could pay for a kilo of cocaine after "he gets out of practice." He walked out of the restaurant with the package and was arrested.

The criminal complaint was filed in Texas, where the U.S. attorney said Hurd faces up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine if convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, or half a kilogram.

Hurd's agent, Ian Greengross, didn't return messages seeking comment. The NFL said in a statement that it is monitoring the investigation, and the NFL Players Association declined to comment.

Bears 'shocked' by Hurd's arrest
Bears coach Lovie Smith said Sam Hurd's arrest was disappointing and came as a "total surprise" to the organization and its players. More ...

Coach Lovie Smith said the arrest was a disappointment and a "total surprise," adding that Hurd still was a member of the Bears for now.

Hurd, a San Antonio native who played college ball at Northern Illinois, spent five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and is in his first stint with the Bears. He has contributed mostly on special teams, playing in 77 games overall with six starts and two career touchdowns. He has played in 12 games this year, catching eight passes for 109 yards.

The complaint says an informant tipped off authorities in Texas in July, leading to an investigation in which an unidentified acquaintance of Hurd's "negotiated" for approximately five kilograms of cocaine on the player's behalf. The acquaintance wanted to buy the drugs quickly to take it to a "northern destination that same day," the complaint said.

The Bears reached a three-year deal with Hurd this summer that was reportedly worth up to $5.15 million, including a $1.35 million signing bonus and base pay this season of $685,000.

The deal was announced July 29 -- the day after federal authorities say Hurd had agreed to a "consensual interview" with Homeland Security investigators over $88,000 in cash that had been seized in a car he owned in the Dallas area. The money was inside a canvas bag that authorities said was covered in a plant-like material that tested positive for "properties of marijuana."

The acquaintance told authorities that Hurd "routinely leaves large amounts" of money in his vehicles, while Hurd said the money was indeed his and that he had given the car to his acquaintance, a car shop employee, for maintenance and detail work.

Hurd showed authorities a bank statement he said showed he had withdrawn $88,000 from his account, but authorities said it did "not reflect the transactions and amounts" he claimed.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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