No doubt you’ve heard by now that former Dallas Cowboy Sam Hurd’s in federal custody, having been popped by authorities in Chicago Wednesday night for trying to buy “five to 10 kilograms of cocaine, at $25,000 per kilogram, and 1,000 pounds of marijuana, at $450 per pound, per week for distribution in the Chicago area,” per the U.S. Attorney’s Office release just dispatched to media.
But you may not know that the case of the current Chicago Bears wide receiver has been filed in Dallas federal court, where it will be adjudicated following his appearance in Chicago court this afternoon. The reason: Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) became interested in Hurd started in Dallas over the summer.
George Ramirez, a Special Agent in the HSI SAC Dallas Division , received information from a reliable confidential informant (CI) on July 27, 2011, that a subject named T.L. was attempting to purchase four kilograms of cocaine on behalf of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Sam Hurd.
Here are the details from the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas.
Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), arrested Samuel George Hurd, III, 26, of Lake Forest, Illinois, last night on a criminal complaint, filed in the Northern District of Texas, charging conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
According to the complaint filed, the investigation began in July 2011 when ICE HSI in Dallas was advised by a confidential informant (CI) that an individual, known as “T.L.,” was attempting to arrange the purchase of approximately four kilograms of cocaine for an unknown buyer, who was later identified as Hurd. So, at the direction of ICE HSI agents, the CI coordinated a meeting with T.L. to purchase the cocaine. A coordinated traffic stop was arranged and a subsequent search of T.L.’s vehicle revealed a canvas bag that contained $88,000 in cash and tested positive for the properties of marijuana.
T.L. abandoned all interest in the currency and stated that the money belonged to Hurd, whom he had known for a considerable time. T.L. stated that he conducts maintenance on Hurd’s vehicles and that Hurd routinely left large amounts of currency in his vehicles. Subsequently, Hurd advised ICE HSI that he was the owner of the $88,000 seized from T.L. Hurd advised ICE HSI that he had made a withdrawal and wire transfer of funds on July 25, 2011 and that he had personally packed and placed the $88,000, along with assorted items, into his vehicle before turning it over to T.L. for maintenance and detailing. The bank statement that Hurd provided to ICE HSI did not accurately reflect the transactions and amounts claimed by Hurd.
In August 2011, T.L. negotiated with the CI to purchase cocaine on behalf of Hurd. In September 2011, T.L. phoned the CI and advised that his associates from Chicago were in Dallas and were interested in purchasing five kilograms of cocaine. T.L. stated that the buyer (Hurd) wanted to meet with the CI, but T.L. later advised that Hurd was unavailable because of his NFL obligations, but that Hurd’s cousins were available to complete the transaction. T.L. agreed to email the CI a photo of the money; however, that photo was never received.
In phone conversations earlier this month, Hurd advised the CI that he was interested in purchasing five kilograms of cocaine and indicated that he was interested in setting up continued business with the CI and his associates. The CI advised Hurd that he/she would be in the Chicago area soon, after which Hurd said that the would be interested in meeting to negotiate prices, discuss quantities and establish a long-term business relationship.
The complaint further states that yesterday evening, Hurd met with an ICE HSI undercover agent at a restaurant in Chicago. Hurd introduced himself as the “Sam” that had been communicating with the CI. Hurd stated that he was interested in purchasing five to 10 kilograms of cocaine, at $25,000 per kilogram, and 1,000 pounds of marijuana at $450 per pound, per week for distribution in the Chicago area. Hurd said that he and another co-conspirator currently distribute approximately four kilograms of cocaine per week in Chicago, but that his supplier couldn’t supply him with enough quantity. Hurd went on to say that his co-conspirator is in charge of doing the majority of the deals while he focuses on the “higher-end” deals. Hurd also stated that some money had been seized from him in Dallas, but that seizure couldn’t be associated with him. After they finished negotiating, the undercover agent presented Hurd with a kilogram of cocaine, that Hurd accepted. Hurd stated that he plays for the Chicago Bears and 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. Hurd left the restaurant with the bag of cocaine and was arrested shortly thereafter in the parking lot of the restaurant.
A federal criminal complaint is a written statement of the essential facts of the offenses charged, and must be made under oath before a magistrate judge. Hurd is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. But believe me, you don’t want to be him.
An attorney for former Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd today denied reports that Hurd dealt drugs to other NFL personnel.
“Sam has asked me to address one point and I am going to address that with you,” Hurd’s attorney, Brett Greenfield, told reporters today after a court hearing. “With respect to the rumors that Sam has been supplying drugs to other members of the NFL - out of respect to the NFL, out of respect to his teammates, and out of respect to other players – he 100 percent denies that allegation. It is patently and totally false.”
Hurd was cut (waived) from the Chicago Bears today, and he won’t be earning anymore of his multi-million dollar NFL contract. Hurd was signed to a three-year deal with the Bears for a reported $5.15 million, including a $1.35 million signing bonus and base pay this season of $685,000, the AP reported.
The Bears announced their contract agreement with Hurd on July 29, one day after federal authorities say he 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.”
Hurd was released today on $100,000 bond after making his initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Chicago.
The maximum statutory penalty, however, for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine is 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine. The U.S. Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Texas has 30 days to present the matter to a grand jury.
Hurd joins former Dallas Cowboys player Nate Newton, who was arrested not once, but twice for distributing marijuana, smuggled from Mexico to Texas to Atlanta, Georgia. Newton was convicted in federal court and sentenced to prison. After serving his sentence in Georgia, Newton returned to the Dallas area. He now works for ESPN radio in Dallas, appearing on a daily afternoon sports talk show on FM 103.3