Former Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Sam Hurd, 28, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for starting a drug-distribution network. He pleaded guilty in April for trying to buy and sell large amounts of cocaine and marijuana. The sentence carried ten years to life in prison and federal sentencing guidelines recommend 27 to 34 years.
In December 2011, Hurd tried to buy a kilogram of cocaine outside of a steakhouse in Chicago. The drug dealer turned out to be an undercover agent and he was promptly arrested. He told the agent “he wanted 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week to distribute in the Chicago area.” He was with the Bears and in the first year of a three-year contract worth more than $5 million. The Bears cut him and he returned to Texas where he tried to buy cocaine and marijuana from his cousin Jesse Tyrone Chavful and failed two drug tests. His bail was revoked and returned to prison.
He spoke at the end of the four hour hearing and begged for mercy.
While he denied leading a major conspiracy or dealing with Chavful, Hurd admitted to having a marijuana addiction and a weakness for friends who needed his help. He admitted giving $88,000 to another co-defendant, Toby Lujan, knowing that the money might go to buy drugs. And he admitted the fateful meeting at a steakhouse that ended in his arrest.
‘I regret not thinking about the consequences,’ Hurd said, adding: ‘I made some dumb, very bad decisions.’
Other NFL players were not implicated even though Hurd told Sports Illustrated he shared marijuana with Cowboys teammates.