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CHICAGO (CBS) — Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd, who faces federal drug charges, was released on $100,000 cash bond Friday after being dumped by his team.
Hurd was arrested earlier this week for allegedly trying to set up a drug ring by buying huge amounts of cocaine and marijuana from a supplier in Texas. He was being held Friday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center before his court appearance at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports
Hurd’s attorney, Brett Greenfield, said his client would be vindicated in the case, which moves to Texas. The next hearing will be in January, he said.
“Sam is ready to fight this case, he’s eager to fight this case, he’s eager to get in court, and he’s eager for the truth to come out,” Greenfield said.
He also said his client is disappointed that the Bears cut Hurd from the team roster Friday in the wake of the drug charges. Greenfield said Hurd hopes to join another NFL team. A condition of his bond is that Hurd must be working or looking for work.
“Sam’s a football player. He wants to play. He’s a great asset to the Bears, or was a great asset to the Bears and he’s going to be great asset hopefully to another organization in the near future,” Greenfield said.
Hurd appeared in court Friday in the orange jumpsuit of a federal prisoner. He was released later and was seen arriving at his home in Lake Forest.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, Hurd, a 26-year-old former Northern Illinois University Huskie, was arrested outside the Morton’s Steakhouse at 9525 Bryn Mawr Ave. in Rosemont Wednesday night. Prosecutors said he met with an undercover agent at the restaurant and accepted a kilo of cocaine from a federal agent.
“I am in shock over it,” Bears head Coach Lovie Smith said Thursday. “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.”
The criminal complaint against Hurd says the investigation started back in July, during a traffic stop in Dallas. One of Hurd’s associates was found to be carrying $88,000 in cash in a car owned by Hurd.
When the undercover Homeland Security agent conducted the deal at Morton’s, 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.
Greenfield, the athlete’s attorney, told reporters that Hurd “100 percent denies that allegation,” referring to similar reports.
“It is patently and totally false,” he said.