The arrest of Bears receiver on federal drug charges Wednesday threatens to shake the NFL far beyond one isolated case of an individual gone bad.
According to Chicago radio station 670 The Score, which quoted an unnamed law enforcement source, Hurd’s cocaine customers included NFL players “in the double digits” and that list is in the hands of police. If proven true, commissioner Roger Goodell could have a major scandal on his hands.
In a criminal complaint filed in the Northern District of Texas, Department of Homeland Security Special Agent George Ramirez detailed in an affidavit attached to the complaint the substantial drug ring overseen by the 26-year-old Hurd. Hurd was busted at a steakhouse near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport Wednesday night when he accepted a kilogram of cocaine from a Homeland Security undercover agent.
Hurd will be in federal custody until at least Friday, while prosecutors and defense attorneys work out bond details before he is sent to Texas to face charges.
Hurd, in handcuffs, declined to comment on the charges, but when he was asked before the hearing if he was still a member of the Bears, he said: “As far as I know.”
The NFL said it was looking into the incident while the NFL Players Association declined to comment.
Coach Lovie Smith told The Associated Press the arrest was a disappointment and a “total surprise.” He said Hurd was still a member of the Bears — for now.
“Sam wasn’t in meetings this morning and that’s how from there of course we started searching, trying to find out why a player wouldn’t be here,” Smith said. “There was no tipoff, didn’t know it was coming.”
Hurd, who signed with the Bears this season after five years with the Cowboys, was sharing a steak dinner with the agent and told him he was interested in buying “five to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week for distribution in the Chicago area,” according to the affidavit. Hurd told the agent he’d have the money for the one kilo of cocaine after he got out of practice the next day. He was arrested when he left the restaurant and stashed the bag of coke in his vehicle.
Hurd was no small-time operator. In the affidavit, Hurd told the undercover agent that he and a co-conspirator “currently distribute approximately four kilograms of cocaine per week in the Chicago area, but that the supplier could not supply (Hurd) with enough quantity.” Hurd agreed to pay the undercover agent $25,000 per kilo of cocaine and $450 per pound of marijuana, according to the affidavit.
At those prices, if Hurd were to sell the amount of coke and marijuana each week that he was seeking according to the affidavit, he would be raking in more in a week than his $685,000 base salary with the Bears this season.
Ramirez wrote in the affidavit that the investigation of Hurd began on July 27 in Dallas — two days before the Bears announced they signed Hurd. Ramirez said that a confidential informant told federal agents that a man later identified as T.L., a “known Hurd co-conspirator,” came to him seeking to buy four kilos of cocaine for an unknown buyer, “later identified as Hurd.”
Hurd had contact with federal authorities at the time concerning $88,000 that was seized in a routine traffic stop of T.L. arranged by authorities in a vehicle owned by Hurd. According to the affidavit, Hurd said the money was for maintenance, detailing and body work on the car by T.L., who worked on Hurd’s vehicles.
The investigation followed Hurd north to Chicago, where, according to the affidavit, Hurd’s cousins “were available to complete the transaction,” referring to a five-kilo cocaine purchase.
“He has his family, and that’s a choice that he made,” said Bears wide receiver Roy Williams, who also played with Hurd in Dallas. “And there’s consequences with the choices that you make.”
Most Cowboys players declined comment. According to the Dallas Morning News, many privately said Hurd would be one of the last people expected to be involved in drug trafficking.
“I don’t think I should comment until everyone figures out what’s going on,” Dallas quarterback Tony Romo said. “You’re better off not saying anything right now.”
Hurd has been used mainly on special teams throughout his career. He had eight receptions for 109 yards in 12 games this season.
– Article originally from The New York Daily News.