Updated Nov thirteen, 2013 8: 52 PM ET
Former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for their role in starting a drug-distribution scheme while playing for the Chicago Bears, completing a steep problem that ended his football career and left his future within tatters.
Hurd, 28, received the particular punishment in a federal courtroom within Dallas after pleading guilty within April to one count of endeavoring to buy and distribute large amounts associated with cocaine and marijuana. The cost carried a minimum 10-year sentence and a maximum of life.
Authorities say that while NFL teammates and friends knew him like a hardworking wide receiver and married father, Hurd was fashioning a separate identity as a wannabe drug kingpin with a focus on ”high-end deals” and a need for large amounts of drugs.
U. S. District Judge Jorge Solis gave Hurd a much shorter sentence than the twenty-seven to 34 years recommended simply by federal sentencing guidelines. Solis noted that the case against Hurd dedicated to a ”lot of agreements” to purchase and sell marijuana and cocaine, rather than physical transactions of drugs.
But , the determine said, ”You didn’t just begin nickel and diming it. ”
Hurd stood before him in orange jail scrubs after a rambling, emotional 30-minute plea for mercy. Behind him in the gallery were more than a dozen family members and friends.
”You had everything going for you, ” Solis told Hurd, adding that he thought the case was a ”tragedy. ”
Federal inmates are typically not entitled to parole and required to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences.
Hurd’s December 2011 arrest outside a suburban Chicago steakhouse came after he tried to buy a kilogram of cocaine in what turned out to be a sting. According to analysis complaint, Hurd told an undercover agent that he wanted 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1, 000 pounds of cannabis per week to distribute in the Chicago area. He claimed he was already distributing 4 kilograms a week, according to the complaint. A kilogram is about 2 . 2 pounds.
At the time, Hurd was a wide receiver with stints for the Bears and Dallas Cowboys who also had played most of his 5 seasons on special teams. This individual was in the first year of a three-year contract reportedly worth more than $5 million.
The particular Bears soon cut him. Hurd was released on bail and came back to Texas, where he grew up, yet soon fell into trouble again, according to court documents. He allegedly tried to buy more cocaine and cannabis through a cousin, Jesse Tyrone Chavful, and failed two drug checks. That led a magistrate determine in August 2012 to revoke his bail and order him returned to jail.
Hurd spoke near the end of a four-hour hearing, sometimes reading through from handwritten notes and sometimes looking directly at Solis to plead for mercy.
While he denied leading a major conspiracy or dealing with Chavful, Hurd admitted to having a cannabis addiction and a weakness for friends who needed his help. This individual admitted giving $88, 000 to a different co-defendant, Toby Lujan, knowing that the money might go to buy drugs. And he admitted the fateful meeting in a steakhouse that ended in his arrest.
”I regret not thinking about the consequences, ” Hurd said, adding: ”I made a few dumb, very bad decisions. ”
His attorneys tried to explain his claims of getting high-value customers and massive need for drugs as mere boasting, saying he had a penchant regarding exaggeration. One of his lawyers, Michael McCrum, called his client ”a guy showing up at a restaurant, talking stupid. ”
”I think he should be punished, but for the crime that he committed, ” McCrum said.
But Hurd’s failed medication tests and alleged dealings with Chavful appeared to factor heavily towards him Wednesday. Prosecutors repeatedly raised Chavful – rejecting claims simply by Hurd and his attorneys that the 2 men were talking about Hurd’s attempts to start a T-shirt printing business.
”Normally, when you dig a gap, you quit digging, ” mentioned prosecutor John Kull. ”But this individual keeps digging. ”
Chavful and Lujan have got both pleaded guilty to becoming involved in the conspiracy. Solis gave Chavful eight years in prison regarding his smaller role in the system. Lujan will be sentenced in The month of january.
While most NFL players are known to were charged in connection with the case, Hurd stated in an interview published Tuesday simply by Sports Illustrated that he shared cannabis with Cowboys teammates and smoked cigarettes during the last three to four years of his career ”all day, every day. ”
But while this individual gained extra notoriety due to their now-finished football career, prosecutors mentioned Hurd’s case was simple.
”He’s not becoming prosecuted because he’s an NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE player, ” Kull said. ”He’s being prosecuted because he’s the drug dealer. ”