Ex-NFL WR in court again on drug case

Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd will appear in court on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012 on new charges. He was arrested for allegedly being part of a drug ring last year. /AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

DALLAS — Former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd, whose young career was brought to a halt by accusations that he tried to set up a drug-dealing ring in the middle of a season, is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday on new charges.

Arrested last December, Hurd is due in Dallas federal court Wednesday afternoon to plead on a new indictment with charges related to his time out on bail earlier this year. Hurd is accused of trying to have a cousin arrange a deal to buy 5 kilograms of cocaine and 200 pounds of marijuana.

The 27-year-old Hurd is being held in federal prison near Dallas.

His cousin, Jesse Tyrone Chavful, and his other alleged co-conspirator, Toby Lujan, have signed guilty plea agreements.

Hurd’s arrest during last year’s NFL season shocked his teammates on the Chicago Bears. Authorities have accused him of trying to set up large-scale purchases of cocaine and marijuana — and accepting 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of cocaine from an undercover officer at a Chicago-area steakhouse. Hurd allegedly told the officer he wanted to eventually buy 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week to distribute in the Chicago area.

Agents were waiting outside the steakhouse to arrest him.

Hurd pleaded not guilty and was released on bail. The Bears eventually cut him.

The San Antonio native played at Northern Illinois University and spent five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before signing with the Bears in 2011. The deal was reportedly worth up to $5.15 million, including a $1.35 million signing bonus and base pay this season of $685,000.

Hurd was living in Texas earlier this summer when he fell back into trouble. Authorities say he failed two drug tests and also tried to arrange another deal for cocaine and marijuana through Chavful, his cousin. Chavful, in documents signed Monday as part of his plea agreement, said Hurd contacted him at his T-shirt shop in San Antonio and asked to “get him cocaine and marijuana.”

According to the documents, Chavful said he set up a deal to purchase the cocaine and marijuana, but was arrested by an undercover officer.

Chavful’s attorney, Laura Harper, denied that Chavful was pleading guilty in a bid of leniency at sentencing.

“Rather, he is truthfully admitting what he did because he believes that it is the right thing to do,” she said.

The third person charged in the alleged conspiracy, Toby Lujan, has already pleaded guilty to a cocaine possession charge.

Hurd’s attorney, Jay Ethington, said Tuesday that Chavful is lying.

“It’s Chavful’s attempt to shift blame and save himself from a long prison sentence,” he said.

Prosecutors last month filed a guilty plea agreement signed by Hurd. But Ethington said the document was a draft and no plea agreement had been reached. The U.S. attorney’s office has not withdrawn the plea documents.

— Associated Press