|Sam Hurd, shown during training camp, is charged with trying to set up a drug ring, dealing cocaine and marijuana. (Nam Y. Huh/File/Associated Press)|
Bears’ Hurd arrested on drug charges
Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd was locked up in federal custody yesterday as his stunned teammates learned he had been charged with trying to set up a drug-dealing network following his arrest with more than a pound of cocaine.
US Magistrate Young Kim ordered Hurd held until at least today while prosecutors and defense attorneys work out bond details before he is sent to Texas to face charges. The handcuffed Hurd declined comment to a reporter before the hearing.
Asked if he was still a member of the Bears, he said: “As far as I know.’’ He shook his head when asked if he had talked to anyone on the team.
“Sam intends to fight these charges, and we intend to defend him fully,’’ said high-profile defense attorney David Kenner, one of Hurd’s lawyers. “We have complete confidence in him.’’
Kenner said he and partner Brett Greenfield had not evaluated all of the information in the case.
But Kenner - who successfully defended rapper Snoop Dogg against murder charges - said he had other cases where the evidence appeared to be stacked against his client. “They start off looking terrible, and then we end up with ‘not guiltys,’ ’’ Kenner said.
Hurd was arrested Wednesday night after meeting with an undercover agent at a Chicago restaurant, according to a criminal complaint that said the player was first identified as a potential drug dealer over the summer as the NFL lockout was coming to an end.
Hurd told the agent that he was interested in buying 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week to distribute in the Chicago area, the complaint said. He allegedly said he and a co-conspirator already distribute about 4 kilos of cocaine every week, but their supplier couldn’t keep up with his demands.
The criminal complaint was filed in Texas, where the US attorney said Hurd, 26, faces up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine if convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, or a half-kilogram.
Coach Lovie Smith said the arrest was a disappointment and a “total surprise,’’ adding that Hurd was still a member of the Bears for now.
“Sam wasn’t in meetings this morning and that’s how from there of course we started searching trying to find out why a player wouldn’t be here,’’ Smith said. “There was no tipoff, didn’t know it was coming.’’
Hurd has played in 12 games this year, catching eight passes for 109 yards.
Ben Roethlisberger’s sprained left ankle has improved but that doesn’t mean the Steelers quarterback is any closer to playing Monday night against San Francisco. Roethlisberger sat out his third practice in a row yesterday, hoping another 24 hours of rest will help him avoid missing his first start because of injury in more than two years. Veteran Charlie Batch will get the call if Roethlisberger can’t go . . . Browns quarterback Colt McCoy still has headaches from the concussion sustained on the crushing hit by Pittsburgh’s James Harrison last week. McCoy was sent home again before practice yesterday, increasing the likelihood that backup Seneca Wallace will start Sunday against Arizona . . . Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore returned to practice and took the majority of snaps after being sidelined with a mild concussion, but interim coach Todd Bowles said he’ll wait until Sunday to decide who starts at Buffalo. If Moore doesn’t play, former Bills quarterback J.P. Losman will make his first start for the Dolphins . . . Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (calf) returned to practice, and even though he was limited coach Mike Munchak said he believes Hasselbeck will play Sunday when Tennessee visits the winless Colts.
Landry goes on IR
A wasted season is over for Redskins safety LaRon Landry, whose sore left Achilles’ tendon hasn’t fully healed and will now likely require surgery. Now it’s a matter of waiting to see if the injury has ended Landry’s Redskins career as well. Coach Mike Shanahan said that Landry will be placed on injured reserve. “It’s got to get well,’’ Shanahan said, “because last year, in the first nine games that he played, he should have been player of the year.’’ Landry, who has been able to play in only 17 games over the last two seasons, becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season . . . Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson (ankle) practiced on a limited basis and said he plans to play Sunday against the Saints . . . The Texans said defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is in stable condition after undergoing surgery on his kidney and gall bladder. Phillips, 64, said before the surgery that he expected to miss a week to 10 days. He said his condition was not life-threatening and non-cancerous. Linebackers coach Reggie Herring will run the defense in Sunday’s game against Carolina . . . The Redskins announced that former longtime defensive coordinator Richie Petitbon, a member of coaching staffs that won three Super Bowls, will be inducted in the team’s “Ring of Fame’’ at halftime of the Christmas Eve game against the Vikings.