Bears receiver Sam Hurd posted bail
Bears receiver Sam Hurd posted $100,000 bail Friday evening and was released from federal custody on charges he tried to buy giant amounts of drugs to distribute in the Chicago area.
And by the time he did, he wasn’t a Bear anymore: The team announced earlier Friday it was cutting him.
And while the Bears maintained they found no red flags before signing him as a free agent over the summer, Hurd’s attorney sought to stress that his client never gave or sold any drugs to any NFL colleagues.
As Bears staffers looked on Friday afternoon in federal court in Chicago, Judge Young B. Kim explained to Hurd the conditions of his release, including putting up the $100,000 cash bail, surrendering his passport and not gambling, getting drunk or keeping guns.
Hurd, 26, faces charges he intended to conspire to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, which carries penalties of up to 40 years in prison and up to a $5 million fine.
Appearing in an orange jumpsuit from his two-night stay at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, his feet chained together, Hurd did not speak during Friday’s brief hearing, other than to politely respond “Yes, sir” to Kim’s questions. Upon entering the courtroom, he looked to the gallery, where his mother, brother, wife and her father were seated.
The former Northern Illinois University receiver told an undercover federal agent who he thought was a drug supplier that he wanted to buy five to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week to distribute in the Chicago area, authorities said.
In exchange, authorities said, Hurd agreed to pay $25,000 per kilo and $450 per pound — which would amount to up to $2.8 million a month.
But instead, the feds arrested Hurd outside a Morton’s The Steakhouse in Rosemont Wednesday after he accepted a kilo of cocaine from the agent and agreed to pay for it after he got out of practice Thursday — the day Bears players get paid, authorities said in a complaint filed in Texas.
A backup receiver who signed with the Bears this summer after five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, Hurd is being represented by attorneys David Kenner and Brett Greenfield. Kenner, of Los Angeles, was the attorney for Death Row Records and successfully defended rapper Snoop Dogg against murder charges.
Greenfield said Hurd would fight the charges. He would not say how. But he put one rumor to rest:
“With respect to the rumors that Sam was 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,” Greenfield said. “It is patently and totally false.”
“Sam’s going to approach this case the same way he approaches the football field, with determination, with drive, he’s going to accept it,” Greenfield said.
Bears GM Jerry Angelo, when asked if any other players on the team are involved, said: “I can’t talk about that. I’m certainly not going on any witch-hunts about players.
“The one thing that we’ve done when there’s been a wrong, we’ve acted. We don’t justify wrongs. We’ve acted. We have a track record of doing that. Unfortunately, a situation arose that caught us off guard, but not to the point where we aren’t going to do the right thing. And the right thing is to cut Sam Hurd.
Hurd and his wife, Stacee Green of Calumet City — his college sweetheart — have a daughter. Green left Friday’s court hearing without commenting.
The Bears announced on July 29 that they had agreed to a three-year, $5.1 million deal with Hurd.
That came just days after federal agents stopped a man in Dallas driving Hurd’s car, and seized the $88,000 they found in a canvas bag inside, along with traces of marijuana, authorities said. Hurd, then a Dallas Cowboy, tried to claim the money, telling federal agents the money was for the man driving his car to do maintenance on it.
Hurd and the man then continued to try to arrange drug deals through an informant in Texas, authorities said. The informant eventually arranged to come to Chicago to meet and discuss what Hurd called a possible “long-term business relationship” authorities said.
At the Rosemont meeting, Hurd told the undercover agent he and his co-horts already distribute four kilos of cocaine a week in the Chicago area, but his supplier couldn’t keep up with his demands. After taking the kilo of cocaine from the agent, he left the restaurant, put the cocaine in his car and was arrested, authorities said.