Former Chicago Bears receiver Hurd could get life on drug charge - New York News

Former Bears receiver Hurd could get life on drug charge

Posted: Updated:

DALLAS (AP) -- While NFL teammates and friends knew Sam Hurd as a hardworking wide receiver and married father, authorities say he was fashioning a separate identity as a wannabe drug kingpin with a focus on "high-end deals" and a need for large amounts of cocaine and marijuana.

Two years later, Hurd will enter a federal courtroom with his future in tatters as he faces possibly spending the rest of his life in prison.

Hurd is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday after pleading guilty in April to one count of trying to buy and distribute large amounts of cocaine and marijuana. The charge carries a minimum 10-year sentence, but prosecutors may push for a sentence up to life.

His December 2011 arrest outside a suburban Chicago steakhouse came after he tried to buy a kilogram of cocaine in what turned out to be a sting. According to a federal complaint, Hurd told an undercover agent that he wanted 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week to distribute in the Chicago area. He claimed he was already distributing 4 kilograms a week, according to the complaint. A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.

At the time, Hurd was a wide receiver with stints for the Bears and Dallas Cowboys who had played most of his five seasons on special teams. He was in the first year of a three-year contract reportedly worth more than $5 million.

The Bears soon cut him. Hurd was released on bond and returned to Texas, where he grew up, but soon fell into trouble again, according to court documents. He allegedly tried to buy more cocaine and marijuana through a cousin, Jesse Tyrone Chavful, and failed two drug tests. That led a magistrate judge in August 2012 to revoke his bond and order him returned to jail.

In April, when the tall, lanky Hurd stood before a judge in an orange jumpsuit and pleaded guilty, he asked to address the court.

"I'm sorry for everything I've done," he told the judge.

While no other players are known to have been charged in connection with the case, Hurd claimed in an interview published Tuesday that he shared marijuana with Cowboys teammates and smoked during the last three to four years of his career "all day, every day."

"I'm in the NFL, and I'm gonna ask people for a few hundred dollars on top of what I paid for it? Nah," Hurd told Sports Illustrated. "Slide me what I got it for and take it. Enjoy it."

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, asked Tuesday about Hurd, declined to comment "because I just don't know anything about that."

Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, a former teammate of Hurd's, called Hurd a "great guy in the locker room" and a "great teammate."

"It's very shocking to hear," Hatcher said. "But as far as everybody smoking in the NFL, I don't know. As long as you keep your business, whatever you do off the field is your business. I really don't know what to say about that situation."

One of Hurd's attorneys, Jay Ethington, has said that Hurd was given no promise of leniency for pleading guilty and avoiding trial. Sentence recommendations from prosecutors and Hurd's attorneys are sealed, though attorneys for both sides are expected to make their case before U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis on Wednesday.

Chavful and another co-defendant, Toby Lujan, have both pleaded guilty to being involved in the conspiracy. Solis, who will sentence Hurd, gave Chavful eight years in prison for a much smaller role in the scheme. Lujan will be sentenced in January.

There is no parole in the federal system, though inmates can typically apply for early release after completing 85 percent of their sentences.

According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the average sentence handed down for drug trafficking cases in Texas' Northern District, where Hurd is being prosecuted, was about 9 1/2 years between October 2011 and September 2012, the most recent period for which statistics are available.

Follow Us!

Share Your Sports Photos & Video

Submit Your Sports Photos
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Aire Ancient Baths

    A relaxing bathhouse in busy Tribeca

    A relaxing bathhouse in busy Tribeca

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:29 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:29:51 GMT
    Deep beneath the hustle and bustle of Tribeca lies a modern-day oasis brimming with old world charm: Aire Ancient Baths, my new favorite city escape. The breathtaking spa is illuminated by hundreds of candles and smells of invigorating eucalyptus. For around $80 you can bathe in the tranquil blue pools for 90 minutes and find the temperature that's right for you.
    Deep beneath the hustle and bustle of Tribeca lies a modern-day oasis brimming with old world charm: Aire Ancient Baths, my new favorite city escape. The breathtaking spa is illuminated by hundreds of candles and smells of invigorating eucalyptus. For around $80 you can bathe in the tranquil blue pools for 90 minutes and find the temperature that's right for you.
  • NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

    NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 8:40 PM EDT2014-07-30 00:40:09 GMT
    From coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants in Manhattan, we find speakeasies standing out by blending in. When people in Bushwick want a green machine juice blend they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the owl. "We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo says.
    From coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants in Manhattan, we find speakeasies standing out by blending in. When people in Bushwick want a green machine juice blend they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the owl. "We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo says.
  • NY brothers invent machine that makes CPR easier

    NY brothers invent machine that makes CPR easier

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:40 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:40:57 GMT
    Only 10 percent of people who get CPR from a bystander actually survive. But two young men in Westchester County have now patented a device that could dramatically increase those odds and save lives. John and Chris DiCapua's sitting room in their parents' Westchester County home has had a unique guest lying around for quite a while now: a CPR dummy. What began as an idea from their time as Boy Scouts is now a device that could potentially save lives.
    Only 10 percent of people who get CPR from a bystander actually survive. But two young men in Westchester County have now patented a device that could dramatically increase those odds and save lives. John and Chris DiCapua's sitting room in their parents' Westchester County home has had a unique guest lying around for quite a while now: a CPR dummy. What began as an idea from their time as Boy Scouts is now a device that could potentially save lives.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices