Bears WR Sam Hurd (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Tribune photo)
Chicago Tribune on December 15, 2011 released the following:
“By Jeremy Gorner and Vaughn McClure, Tribune reporters
Chicago Bears receiver Sam Hurd was arrested Wednesday night outside a Rosemont restaurant after he accepted a kilogram of cocaine from a confidential informant and an undercover federal agent posing as a drug supplier, according to federal charges filed Thursday in Dallas.
Hurd was charged with one count of conspiring to possess half a kilogram of cocaine with the intent to distribute it. Hurd appeared in federal court in Chicago in late afternoon and will remain in custody overnight while his attorney arranges bond.
Hurd, dressed in street clothes — fashionable jeans and a gray T-shirt — stood ramrod straight in front of the judge and replied, “Yes, sir,” to various questions about whether he understood his rights.
At the Wednesday night meeting, authorities allege that Hurd negotiated to buy five to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana a week for distribution in the Chicago area. He agreed to pay $25,000 for each kilogram of cocaine and $450 a pound for the marijuana, according to the charges.
Hurd said at the meeting that he plays for the Bears, gets out of practice at about 5:30 p.m., and would pay them on the next day, authorities said. Bears players are paid on Thursdays.
Hurd told the undercover agent and informant that he and someone else distributed about four kilograms of cocaine each week in the Chicago area but that their supplier wasn’t able to meet their needs, according to the criminal complaint.
The Bears issued the following statement: “We are aware of Sam’s arrest and are continuing to gather details surrounding it. We are disappointed whenever these circumstances arise. We will deal with them appropriately once we have all the information.”
Bears coach Lovie Smith said after practice Thursday that Hurd remains a member of the team.
“I am in shock over it,” Smith said. “Never saw it coming. My dealings with Sam here as most of you would probably say the same has all been good. He’s a guy that showed up every day to go to work.”
Hurd, who played at Northern Illinois, signed a three-year contract with the Bears this offseason after playing the previous five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. The veteran receiver has been primarily a special teams contributor for the Bears.
Bears receiver Roy Williams, who played with Hurd for three seasons with the Cowboys, said he was “shocked” by the news.
“It’s a situation I don’t want anyone to be in, especially a close friend, a teammate that I have been playing with now for four or five years now, especially a guy from Texas with a wife and daughter,” Williams said Thursday at Halas Hall. “So, it’s tough for me just because I am not into drugs or anything like that. I know it has to be tough for him because he has his family. It’s a choice he made and there are consequences with choices that you make.”
Asked for his thoughts about Hurd, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said, “It’s sad for him. I’m not sure what’s going on, but you never want to hear about one of your teammates, something like this happening to them.
“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. He’s a friendly guy.”
Hurd was inactive for the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons because of a sprained ankle, and has eight receptions for 109 yards on the season.
The complaint alleged that Hurd first came to the attention of federal authorities in July when the confidential informant tipped off agents that a man — later learned to be a Hurd associate — was attempting to coordinate the purchase of about four kilograms of cocaine in the Dallas area. The associate wanted to complete the deal that day so the buyer could transport the cocaine to a northern destination that same day, authorities charged.
At the direction of authorities, the informant met with the Hurd associate. After the meeting, Dallas County police conducted a traffic stop of the Hurd associate and recovered $88,000 in cash and a marijuana plant.
Hurd, who owned the vehicle pulled over by police, later reached out to federal agents and claimed that he had placed the $88,000 into the vehicle and then turned over the vehicle to the associate — who worked at a car repair shop — for maintenance and detailing work, according to the charges.
Hurd produced a bank statement that he said showed he had withdrawn the $88,000 from his account, but authorities said the statement did not reflect that size of a withdrawal.
Hurd’s three-year contract with the Bears had a maximum value of $5.15 million ($4.15 million base total), and Hurd received a $1.35 million signing bonus. His base pay this season was $685,000. The Bears could pursue trying to recover some of the signing bonus.
The investigation is being handled by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Dallas.”
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