Ex-Bear Sam Hurd freed on $100,000 bond as drug case heads to Texas
Sam Hurd, seen here making a play earlier this season, was arrested in Rosemont, Illinois, on drug charges this week.
December 16th, 2011
08:03 PM ET

Ex-Bear Sam Hurd freed on $100,000 bond as drug case heads to Texas

[Updated at 8:03 p.m. ET] Sam Hurd was released on a $100,000 cash bond late Friday afternoon.

His case will now be handled by the federal court for the Northern District of Texas. Hurd waived his probable cause hearing so his case will move to a grand jury, which will decide whether to indict him, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Sean Jensen, an NFL Columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, told CNN that the Chicago Bears organization was blindsided by the arrest of one of the most "cordial, friendly and accountable" players in the clubhouse.

"Everybody throughout this building is shocked by this revelation the other day. The team didn't know anything of it until Thursday morning when Sam Hurd wasn't in the usual receiver meeting. That's when they started asking around and figuring out what happened," Jensen said.

[Posted at 3:49 p.m. ET] A judge granted Sam Hurd a $100,000 bail in a federal drug case that alleges the ex-Chicago Bears receiver conspired to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth or mairjuana and cocaine for distribution in the Chicago area, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Judge Young B. Kim set the bail amount Friday afternoon hearing in federal court, where Hurd appeared in an orange prison jumpsuit with his feet chained together, the paper reported.

Hurd looked to the gallery, where his father and wife, Stacee, sat, as he entered the courtroom, the paper said. He spoke only to say “Yes, sir” to Kim’s questions.

[Posted at 3:23 p.m. ET] Bears GM Jerry Angelo announces the team has cut player Sam Hurd.

In defending their signing of Hurd, "We did everything we know to do in terms of our research, and there was nothing we heard that would present a real concern in the Sam Hurd case. ... We are very shocked about what we heard."

[Posted at 2:42 p.m. ET] Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd is set to appear in court to request bail Friday afternoon, two days after a federal agent said he picked up a kilo of cocaine at a steakhouse, according to CNN affiliates.

Hurd’s arrest stunned players and reporters who know him, and it seems they’re not so much in disbelief over the arrest of a professional athlete on drug charges as they are over how the criminal complaint makes this seemingly swell fellow out to be the “Freeway” Ricky Ross of the Chi-town.

According to the complaint, Hurd, 26, whose base salary was $685,000 this year, met with a confidential informant and federal agent at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Rosemont, Illinois, on Wednesday.

There, the complaint says, he told the pair that he and another person were running 4 kilograms of cocaine into the Chicago area each week, but his supplier couldn’t keep up. He then allegedly worked out a deal to receive 5 to 10 kilograms of coke (at $25,000 apiece) and half a ton of marijuana (at $450 a pound) per week.

For the math-challenged, that’s a minimum of $575,000 worth of drugs. Every week.

After the negotiations, the undercover Homeland Security agent gave Hurd a kilogram of cocaine, according to the complaint, and Hurd told the agent “that he gets out of practice at approximately 5:30 p.m., after which he would make arrangements to pay for the kilogram of cocaine.”

The married father of one and ex-Dallas Cowboy then got into his car with the drugs and was promptly arrested, the complaint alleges.

His attorney, David Kenner, told several news outlets that his client was innocent, explaining to ABC News, “Sam intends to fight these charges, and we intend to defend him fully. We have complete confidence in him.”

A law enforcement source told a Chicago radio station, 670 The Score, that Hurd was a top drug dealer in the Windy City and that police had a list of other NFL players to whom he sold drugs. The station offered few details, other than to quote the source as saying that the number of players involved was “in the double digits.”

ABC News reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Dallas, which would neither confirm nor deny the radio report. A representative said only that the criminal complaint leveled no such allegation.

'Well-liked in the locker room'

It seems anyone who has ever interviewed or played with Hurd is stunned. Bears head coach Lovie Smith, who has been coaching the 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver since July, when he signed with Chicago, called the arrest a “total surprise.”

Linebacker Lance Briggs told Chicago's Herald-News that Hurd was a “nice guy” and was “well-liked in the locker room.” Fellow all-pro linebacker Brian Urlacher added that Hurd was a friendly fellow who always said "hi" in the hallway.

“He’s a good teammate. That’s what I know of him. He comes to work every day and works hard. Outside of here, I don’t know him very well, but he comes to work every day and practices hard and plays hard. That’s all I know of him,” Urlacher told The Herald-News.

Joe Novak, the former coach for Northern Illinois University, where Hurd played from 2002 to 2005, told the newspaper he was “shocked, disappointed that things even come to this point.”

He added, “He was a great player. He really loved to practice and play the game. That was never a problem. He was a little immature at times, but that usually involved academics, where he needed a push and a prod.”

Hurd's former Cowboys teammates were reticent with The Dallas Morning News, but privately they told a reporter that Hurd, who married his college sweetheart (they had a daughter last year), is one of the last people they would expect to be linked to this sort of activity.

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Mark Potash said Hurd had recently gone above and beyond in an interview, explaining to Potash some of his teammates’ frustration with the offense. The interview extended past the mandatory player availability time, but Hurd didn’t seem to mind.

“But that's the kind of guy Sam Hurd is ... or was,” Potash wrote. “I've never met an athlete who was more happy to be alive.”

Sometimes Potash would tell Hurd that there was no way he could be as happy as he always looked, “and he would smile and say something about getting only one shot at life and making the most of it,” the reporter wrote.

Jean-Jacques Taylor of ESPN had a similar impression of Hurd, a man Taylor said had Scripture tattooed on his ribcage and often visited Taylor’s South Dallas church.

Late last season, Taylor heard him singing a gospel song in the Cowboys locker room. His crooning was off-key, “as usual,” and Taylor teased him.

Hurd responded, “God don’t care about your voice as long as you’re praising him,” Taylor wrote.

Taylor said Hurd was “one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet,” a guy he never heard curse, who had an incredible work ethic, who enjoyed video games and constantly picked teammate Terrell Owens’ brain for tips on how to get better.

“Of all the players I've met in 17 seasons of covering the Cowboys, Hurd never, ever would've popped up on my radar as an alleged drug dealer,” Taylor wrote. “Read the government’s affidavit, and the person described sounds nothing like the Hurd I've known since he arrived at the Cowboys' training camp in July 2006 as an undrafted free agent. That guy was a shy, likable, confident player who dedicated himself to making the team.”

Complaint paints different picture

Indeed, the criminal complaint makes Hurd sound more like a wannabe drug kingpin than a God-loving workhorse and all-around good guy.

According to the account from Homeland Security Special Agent George Ramirez, the case began in late July, during Hurd’s last days as a Dallas Cowboy.

A confidential informant told an agent in Dallas that an alleged associate of Hurd's, identified only as T.L., was trying to procure several kilograms of cocaine. The informant coordinated a meet in Dallas, and when T.L. neared the location, the Dallas County constable pulled him over for a routine traffic stop.

T.L. consented to a search of the car, the complaint says, and the officer found a white bag covered in marijuana containing $88,000. T.L., according to the complaint, said the money was Hurd’s.

He further explained that he had known Hurd for a long time and that he worked on his cars out of a repair shop in nearby Coppell. It wasn’t uncommon, he said, for Hurd to leave “large amounts of currency in his vehicles,” the complaint alleges.

Hurd later used T.L.’s phone to call Homeland Security agents and said the 88 grand was his, according to the agent’s statement.

On July 28, Hurd met Homeland Security agents and allegedly told them he had withdrawn and wired the money from a personal account three days prior, before putting the bag of money into the car and giving the keys to T.L. for maintenance work and detailing.

“Hurd subsequently provided (Homeland Security) agents with a bank statement that reflected withdrawals. However, a review of this statement revealed they did not reflect the transactions and amounts claimed by Hurd,” the complaint states.

In mid-August, the complaint continues, T.L. set up a deal with the informant for 5 kilograms of cocaine and arranged to meet after hours at a Firestone shop where he worked. The following day, police in Denton, Texas, informed Homeland Security that Hurd and T.L. had exchanged text messages with four people in California who had been arrested with drugs, money and guns.

“The text message content appeared to be consistent with narcotics trafficking and possible money laundering,” the complaint says.

On September 9, T.L. and the informant discussed a deal for 5 kilograms of cocaine, and T.L. allegedly said Hurd’s cousins would complete the transaction, according to the complaint. It’s unclear from the affidavit what came of the deal.

T.L. and the informant spoke again via telephone December 5, and T.L. said Hurd wanted to meet with the informant to discuss future business. The next day, the informant and T.L. met at a repair shop in Coppell, where T.L. called Hurd and gave the phone to the informant.

Hurd allegedly told the informant he would send his associates to Dallas. According to the complaint, Hurd first said he wanted 3 kilograms before changing it to 5.

After the call, T.L. explained how the deal would be conducted and said Hurd’s previous connection had supplied the wide receiver with $100,000 to $200,000 worth of narcotics a week, the complaint says.

The informant called Hurd two days later to say the cocaine wasn’t available, and Hurd said he wanted to discuss other business with the informant, according to the complaint. Hurd allegedly met with the informant and undercover agent at the steakhouse the following week, where, ABC News reports, they ate $300 worth of filet mignon.

Hurd told the informant and agent that his co-conspirator did the majority of the deals and that he “focuses on the ‘higher-end’ deals” before asking about Mexican mobile phones, which he believed police could not tap, according to the complaint.

The cocaine exchange and arrest followed.

What's next for Bears receiver

Hurd appeared in court Thursday, where U.S. Magistrate Judge Young Kim ordered that he remain in custody while his attorney works out with prosecutors the details of his release on bond, the Chicago Tribune reported.

If he is guilty of the single charge of possession of more than 500 grams of cocaine with intent to distribute, he could go to prison for 40 years and pay a $2 million fine, News Talk 790 AM in Lubbock, Texas, reports.

But this isn’t his only legal woe. The Tribune reports that authorities plan to transfer Hurd to Dallas to face a count of conspiring to distribute more than half a kilogram of cocaine.

It’s unclear if the charges would affect his playing time. He told reporters Thursday he was still a Bear, “as far as I know.”

The Bears are fighting for a wildcard spot in a tight NFC Playoff race, and though Hurd has only eight catches for 109 yards this season, he contributes in other ways. He has long been a special teams force, leading the Cowboys in special teams tackles in 2009 and 2010.

Bears special teams coach Dave Toub told the Tribune, “He's the captain of our punt team. It's going to take a little bit to replace him. We're all shocked, just leave it at that.”

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Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Football • Illinois • Marijuana • Pro football • Sports • Texas • U.S.
soundoff (581 Responses)
  1. edvhou812

    It's interesting how people will condone the unlawful behavior of someone as long as said person plays for their favorite sports team.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • KC

      That is how far we have degenerated as a country.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      its not that in this case... more and more people notice that selling drugs is not a crime... you dont have to condemn the activity simply because it is illegal

      December 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • gsperson

      Matt – "more and more people notice" that you apparently were Sam Hurds business adviser. "Selling cocaine isn't a crime"? OMG that's too funny.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • propmgr34

      illegal but not a crime? Explain

      December 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      a crime is an offense against the community from its latin orgins... i dont feel that selling cocaine is an offense agains tthe community...

      when you sell cocaine you arent forcibly harming anyone, pollution from your vehicle harms the community more than selling cocaine, as burning of oil has as many cancer causing agents as smoking cigarettes... selling cocaine only affects the buyer who agrees to use it, no different than selling alcohol, and less harmful to the community than cigarettes

      December 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • edvhou812

      Matt, unfortunately for you most of the community disagrees with you. Hence, selling drugs is a crime.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • WestOne

      Matt, in case you don't know, cocaine is the base source of Crack! Cocaine is addictive and can cause sever brain damage. You can easily overdose on cocaine and die as it causes a extreme increase in the heart rate and the respiratory function. Continued use of cocaine can cause a complete collapse of the nasal passage. We won't even begin to discuss the effects of cocaine if shot directly into the blood stream by use of a needle. Read and study before you post.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • NJ Sam

      Blame Michael Jackson he touched lil boi's

      December 16, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anchorite

      Most people don't like the selling of drugs because it goes along with murder of rivals, dodging taxes the rest of us pay, selling to kids and pregnant women. It's the use of drugs by adults people don't care much about.

      December 16, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hhi

    A brother has to make a living...you can take the thug out of the hood..................

    December 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • d

      But thugs like to take it in the can???

      December 16, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rtmin

    he must not have greased the palms of enough chicago politicians after all it is the most politically corrupt city in america.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. matt

    selling cocaine is not a crime compared to killing people (bundy and capone) or molesting children (sandusky)

    i dont think cocaine selling cocaine should be illegal at all...

    December 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • edvhou812

      And you don't think people get killed/murdered in the cocaine trade? It happens. Trust me.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      yeah but selling cocaine doesnt equal murder, people got killed in the alcohol trade as well...

      December 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      I can tell by your comment that you have done things that would have put you right in prison with your black "brothas" you are going to get caught eventually and you are going to rot in a WHITE mans prison like the rest of your race. You disgusting monkeynoid.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • mabear87

      Obviously, you are from Afganistan and not an American. The biggest problem in our country i drugs and the big users are the crooks on Wall Street, and probably in the Halls of Congres, since they never do anything intelligent.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • matt

      its seems that a lot of the hate toward sam hurd is brought out because of racism... "cant take the hood out" "thug" etc... cocaine is a white mans drug, it is used by the elite oil execs, wall street traders, and prep school students...

      to the person who complained about paying 150 dollars supporting this man... i hope you are consistent in your dissatisfaction with drug addicts and sellers in that you dont listen to any music, watch any movies or read any novels written by drug abusers... it would leave your library pretty damn thin if you did

      December 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • gsperson

      Well Matt, maybe Sams defense team will read your "selling cocaine isn't a crime" comment and introduce it as evidence at the preliminary hearing. That should probably spring Sam Hurd right there. Hey, maybe they'll even be some cocaine in it for you. Nice job Mr. Darrow.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chief

      well said cokehead.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sully

      If drugs were legal they wouldn't be a crime. We keep drugs illegal so the nerds from high school can play Miami Vice.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • SAL

      Why is it that when someone commits a crime, the focus turns to the person's race and not the actual issue. People should be judged on an individual basis and the focus should be on their behavior and actions; any race is capable of selling drugs, murder, etc. For the last time, all black people are not drug dealers, ghetto, etc., just like all white people are not racist...@ Christopher, grow up...you're ignorance is unbearable!

      December 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • SAL

      *your*

      December 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • WestOne

      Matt, in case you don't know, cocaine is the base source of Crack! Cocaine is addictive and can cause sever brain damage. You can easily overdose on cocaine and die as it causes a extreme increase in the heart rate and the respiratory function. Continued use of cocaine can cause a complete collapse of the nasal passage. We won't even begin to discuss the effects of cocaine if shot directly into the blood stream by use of a needle. Read and study before you post. Some kid might actually think you know what you are talking about.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • WestOne

      Christopher you are ten times sicker than Matt, Hurds or anyone out here. You are undeniably much more stupid! You actually believe only Blacks do cocaine and or drugs. What about "White" Hollywood stars, Wall Street execs, bankers, etc. I really feel sorry for you and pray you have or will never have any children. Or if you do I hope they ran away from home at early ages.

      December 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • billy larry

      This is so puzzling why a guy making almost 3/4 of million dollars a year, would jepordize his future, along with jepordize not seeing his child and wife for a long time when he goes to jail. If I had to guess, I would say he had some friends he grew up with (non professional athletes) got him into this. Now they will be the first ones to rat out their buddy to save their own ass. I don't this story is a black issue or a drug issue. I think it's about a pro athlete thinking he could out smart the cops, and make more money for him and his buddies. Sad, very sad.

      December 17, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael in Atlanta

      OK...I see it now. Running a red light is not as bad as child molestation or murder, so that should be legal too?

      December 18, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. The Supernatural Anaesthetist

    It's the white peoples'fault.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • mabear87

      No, idiot, it is his fault!!

      December 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Supernatural Anaesthetist

      Mabear-ya just ain't gettin'it,are ya?Wait and see how he blames "da man",the police,etc.Do you understand the concept of sarcasm?

      December 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. mabear87

    Put him in jail for fifty years. This man is an idiot and one who did not recognize what he had for his salary as an athlete. If I was as good as he was, I would celebrate my way all the way to the bank and do nothing to get out of line. If I were to drink, I would have a driver or call a cab. WHAT A FOOL.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Christopher

    lol, all black felons, murderers, rapists, drug dealers and other criminals are called "sweet angels" or "He is such a good guy!" by other blacks and left wingers. Please............
    What a joke, what a lie.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • J. Scott

      Racist.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      haha please.....
      Racism against blacks is more than justified, that's a compliment to me.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • JOregon

      JScott
      The word isn't "racist", the word is "troll".
      Can't you tell when someone has no life, no friends, no love, and needs the attention trolling gets them?

      December 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • gsperson

      JOregon – so you're saying those three things led to your trolling and superiority complex then? Gee, that's too bad.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. us1776

    If it was American grown marijuana and American manufactured cocaine then I'm ok with that.

    But if it was just part of some drug cartel arrangement then all he did was fuel more violence.

    Plus the fact the $100K worth of narcotics is down in the noise level for a city like Chicago.

    .

    December 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmmyNelson

      agreed!

      December 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tex71

    The whole point of the "Godfather" series of books and movies is that mafia bosses (drug kingpins presumably included, even though the Corleones tried to stay out of drug traffic) are not three-headed ogre types. They are often family men (no pun intended), loyal friends, pillars of the community, etc etc. They do not have hooves and horns and tridents; they look normal. And they deal drugs, which is illegal.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat ( in a hat )

    Making millions of dollars a year and still having to supplement his paycheck. Wow, that must be one hell of a lifestyle.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeNYC

      It's not just the money, it's the lifestyle. Being a gangsta!

      December 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shan

      Correction – he made lass than a million dollars a year in his NFL salary.
      And, trafficking that large amount doesn't sound "gangsta" to me at all. These are businessmen (criminals of course) who do this, and they wear suits and hats, not skullcaps and tennis shoes.

      December 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Erin

    Wow.. when you make over $600,000 per year – perhaps you can afford to sit back and not get involved with illegal drugs. I don't understand the wealthy pro atheletes (cough.. Michael Vick.. cough) and others who get involved with this stuff and jeapordize everything for MORE money, when they already have more then enough.

    Enjoy your 6×8 cell for the next 40 years instead of your Million Dollar House with your wife and daughter. I hope it was worth it...

    December 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tre

    Simple answer to the question: Yes.

    December 16, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Can take a blank outta of the hood but...

    well, smart ones get the jist!

    December 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Stalin

    this is totally shocking..... a young, black male from a bad neighborhood with too much money is involved in drugs..... INCONCIEVABLE!

    December 16, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shan

      So funny, that people make this about race – when I bet the majority of his end-users do NOT look like him at all. Hypocrites!!

      December 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hadenufyet

      Shan...I'll take that bet!

      December 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sam Hurds

    Give me the chair

    December 16, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
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