Faced with the prospect of a massive scandal involving millions of dollars in cocaine trafficking by a member of one of its charter franchises, the National Football League said only that it is "monitoring" the Sam Hurd investigation.
Hurd, a wide receiver for the Chicago Bears in his sixth year in the NFL, was arrested Wednesday night by federal agents at a west suburban steak house.
A criminal complaint filed in Federal Court says he attempted to arrange an ongoing supply of drugs. He reportedly agreed to pay an undercover agent he thought was a drug supplier $25,000 per kilo for 5 to 10 kilos of cocaine per week. He also reportedly wanted to buy as much as a half ton of marijuana per week.
The criminal complaint said Hurd told the agent and a cooperating witness over dinner that he was distributing 4 kilos per week in Chicago but was having trouble getting enough product to meet demand. It was not clear if that “demand” included other Bear players or others in the NFL.
“We are closely monitoring the federal investigation,” League spokesman Greg Aiello said. “We cannot interfere in a law enforcement investigation.”
“Our investigation at this point consists of obtaining whatever information is available from the federal authorities and cooperating with them in any way necessary,” Aiello said.
Aiello said Hurd would be held “fully accountable by the NFL for his actions, once the facts are determined.”
Hurd was targeted by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement last summer after an informant in Dallas told them an associate was attempting to buy multiple kilos of cocaine on Hurd’s behalf. That man, identified only as “TL” in the complaint, was detained while driving Hurd’s car, where investigators found traces of marijuana and $88,000 in cash.
Since that time, agents said “TL” had made multiple attempts to purchase cocaine for Hurd, including an overnight meeting at a suburban Dallas garage, where the man said Hurd was moving $100,000 to $200,000 worth of drugs per week in the Chicago area.
Investigators said Hurd believed he was making arrangements for an ongoing supply of drugs when he met with the undercover agent and the informant at Morton’s Steak House in Rosemont Tuesday night. The complaint said that while a co-conspirator was responsible for a majority of the deals, Hurd himself handled the “high end” clients. It is not clear if those “high end” associates were other NFL players or staffers.
Hurd was arrested in the restaurant parking lot, allegedly after taking possession of a kilo of cocaine.