Updated 12/15/11 – 6 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd is accused of trying to set up a drug ring by buying huge amounts of cocaine and marijuana from a supplier in Texas, federal authorities said Thursday.
Hurd was handcuffed and wore a fitted gray t-shirt and jeans during a court appearance on Thursday, as U.S. Magistrate Judge Young Kim ordered the athlete held pending a bond hearing at 2 p.m Friday. The judge said Hurd’s case would be transferred to Texas, where the charges were filed, if he pleads not guilty.
Hurd’s attorney, Brett Greenfield, said the football play will fight the charges.
“We’re going to take it one step at a time, we’re going to take it day by day,” he told reporters at Chicago’s Dirksen Federal Courthouse.
Hurd, a former NIU Huskie, was arrested Wednesday in Rosemont after allegedly telling an undercover federal agent that he wanted to buy 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week to distribute in the Chicago area.
A law enforcement source told 670 The Score Hurd was a top drug dealer in Chicago and police have a list of NFL players who were supplied drugs by the receiver.
According to court documents, Hurd is accused of intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine. He is also accused of trying to buy four kilograms of cocaine on July 27, 2011.
“We are aware of Sam’s arrest and are continuing to gather details surrounding it,” the Bears said in a statement. “We are disappointed whenever these circumstances arise. We will deal with them appropriately once we have all the information.”
Hurd’s arrest came Wednesday night in the parking lot at Morton’s Steak House at 9525 Bryn Mawr Ave. in Rosemont, after Hurd made a drug deal with an undercover Homeland Security agent. During the deal, Hurd said he currently distributes four kilograms of cocaine a week in the Chicago area, but his supplier could not give him enough.
Hurd told the undercover agent he wanted to buy five to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana a week for distribution in the Chicago area. He was willing to pay $25,000 for each kilogram of cocaine and $450 for each pound of marijuana. That means he was offering to pay up to $700,000 for the drugs each week before distributing them.
Hurd allegedly said a co-conspirator does the majority of deals, while he concentrates on the “higher-end” deals. He also allegedly asked the undercover agent if he could provide him with Mexican cell phones, with the thinking that federal investigators could not listen in on conversations if he was using a Mexican phone.
According to the documents, the undercover agent gave Hurd a kilogram of cocaine, which he accepted. When the receiver left and put the cocaine in his car, he was placed under arrest.
The investigation into Hurd has been going on since July when Homeland Security in Dallas received a tip from a confidential informant that a co-conspirator of Hurd’s was trying to buy four kilograms of cocaine for the wide receiver.
The informant met with Hurd’s alleged co-conspirator to arrange for the purchase of the cocaine and, afterward, police pulled him over and found $88,000 in the car, which belonged to Hurd, according to court documents. The driver allegedly told police the money belonged to Hurd.
The court documents say Hurd was first questioned by investigators July 28 in Dallas. The next day he signed a three-year deal with the Bears.
At Halas Hall, the news of Hurd’s arrest stunned Bears teammates.
“He’s a good teammate. That’s what I know of him. … He comes to work every day and works hard,” team captain Brian Urlacher said. “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.”
Linebacker Lance Briggs said Hurd is “a nice guy, well-liked; well-liked in the locker room. … You know, we were all just getting to know him.”
Briggs said Bears players were shocked to hear that Hurd had been arrested on drug charges.
Following a stellar collegiate career at Northern Illinois University, Hurd was drafted in 2006 by the Dallas Cowboys and played there five years before signing with the Bears this summer.
The receiver has primarily been a special teams contributor for the Bears this season after signing a three-year deal in the off-season. He spent five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before coming to Chicago.
Hurd has eight catches for 109 yards this season.