Sam Hurd indicted on two counts

Updated: January 4, 2012, 9:46 PM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

A federal grand jury in Dallas indicted former Chicago Bears receiver Sam Hurd and alleged co-conspirator Toby Lujan on Wednesday, each with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, U.S. attorney Sarah R. Saldana of the Northern District of Texas announced.

Agents in Chicago with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations arrested Hurd at a Rosemont, Ill., steakhouse in December, and the receiver was cut by the Bears two days later.

If convicted on the conspiracy count, Hurd and Lujan face a statutory sentence of not less than 10 years and up to life in prison and a $10 million fine. The possession with intent to distribute count carries, upon conviction, a sentence of not less than five years and up to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

An arrest warrant was issued Wednesday for Lujan, 26, of Dallas. No court date has been set.

Hurd's attorney, David Kenner of Encino, Calif., declined to comment on the indictment until he could review the documents.

The criminal complaint against Hurd describes him as regularly dealing large amounts of drugs in Chicago. Hurd allegedly attempted to purchase cocaine and marijuana from a supplier in North Texas, where the case was adjudicated.

The investigation into Hurd's attempt to buy large amounts of cocaine and marijuana began in July 2011, when the receiver was still playing for the Dallas Cowboys, and concluded when he personally met with an undercover agent in December at Morton's The Steakhouse in Rosemont.

At the meeting, Hurd told the agent he wanted to buy "five to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week for distribution in the Chicago area," according to the criminal complaint.

Hurd allegedly negotiated to pay $25,000 per kilogram for the cocaine and $450 per pound for the marijuana. The complaint says that Hurd "further stated that he and another co-conspirator currently distribute four kilograms of cocaine per week in the Chicago area, but that the supplier could not supply him with enough quantity."

After they agreed on a price, the undercover agent gave Hurd a kilogram of cocaine, according to the complaint. Hurd told the agent that he plays for the Bears and would get out of practice at 5:30 p.m., at which time he would make arrangements to pay for the drugs.

According to the complaint, Hurd then took the drugs and got in his car. He was promptly arrested.

Hurd hit authorities' radar in July, when a confidential informant told police that a man -- later identified as Lujan -- was attempting to obtain four kilograms of cocaine for an unknown buyer in the Dallas area. That man was later stopped by police with $88,000 in a canvas bag. He said that the car and the money belonged to Hurd. Police confiscated the money, and Hurd later contacted authorities trying to get the money back.

Hurd was interviewed by police and admitted that he owned the car and had taken the money out of the bank, but according to the complaint "the bank statement that Hurd provided ... did not accurately reflect the transactions and amounts claimed by Hurd."

Then in August, text messages and cellular phone records from a number used by Hurd showed up in relation to four individuals who were detained in California with currency, narcotics and weapons. The complaint states that the text message content "appeared to be consistent with narcotics trafficking and possible money laundering."

That same month, Lujan negotiated with the informant to purchase cocaine on Hurd's behalf, according to the complaint. In September, Lujan phoned the informant and told him his associates from Chicago were in Dallas and interested in buying five kilograms of cocaine.

Lujan said the buyer -- Hurd -- wanted to meet with the informant, but later advised that the receiver was unavailable because of obligations to the Bears. Lujan, according to the complaint, explained that Hurd's cousins were available to complete the transaction, and agreed to email the informant a photo of the money.

The complaint states the photo was never received.

In December, Hurd spoke with the informant again by phone and set up the meeting that eventually resulted in his arrest in the parking lot of the steakhouse with a kilogram of cocaine in his possession.

The indictment also includes a forfeiture allegation which would require the defendants -- if convicted -- to "forfeit to the United States all property real or personal, constituting, or derived from, the proceeds obtained, directly or indirectly, as a result of the respective offense; and any property, real or personal, used or intended to be used, in any manner or part, to commit or to facilitate the commission of the respective offense."

The property described includes, but isn't limited to, the $88,000 seized in the traffic stop and a 2010 Cadillac Escalade seized from Hurd on Dec. 14.

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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