Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd was arrested Wednesday night outside a Chicago restaurant after he accepted 1 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.
At the Wednesday night meeting, authorities allege that Sam Hurd negotiated to buy 5 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 4 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 3-year contract with the Bears this offseason after playing the previous 5 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. The veteran receiver has been primarily a special teams contributor for the Bears.
The complaint alleged that Sam 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 4 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.
Sam 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.
Hurd faces up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine if convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, or half a kilogram.
The investigation is being handled by the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Dallas.