In 2011, Sam Hurd had the world in his hands. The wide receiver had just signed a three-year, $5 million contract with the Chicago Bears. But being a professional athlete making big money wasn't enough for Hurd, who wanted to be a drug kingpin who specialized in brokering "high-end deals."
"You had everything going for you," U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis told Hurd Wednesday in a federal courtroom in Dallas, the Associated Press reports.
Hurd, 28, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to one count of trying to distribute large amounts of cocaine and marijuana.
Authorities say that while NFL teammates all knew Hurd as a married father and hardworking wide receiver, he was building a reputation as a wannabe drug kingpin in the streets of Chicago.
In December 2011, Hurd was arrested outside a Chicago steakhouse after he tried to purchase a kilogram of cocaine in what turned out to be a sting, AP reports. According to federal documents, Hurd told the undercover agent that he was looking to get five to 10 kilograms of cocaine and as much as a 1,000 pounds of marijuana a week. He planned on moving the drugs in the streets of Chicago.
The Bears cut him, and he returned to his hometown in Texas. While on bail, Hurd allegedly tried to buy more cocaine and marijuana, this time through his cousin, Jesse Tyrone Chavful. He would fail two drug tests, leading to his bail being revoked and a court order for Hurd to return to prison, AP reports.
At the end of his four-hour trial, Hurd, dressed in an orange prison-issued jumpsuit, addressed the court. In an emotional plea, Hurd told the judge that he had a marijuana addiction and a weakness for friends who needed help. He admitted to giving $88,000 to a friend, knowing that money might be used to buy drugs. He claimed the money given to Chavful was for a T-shirt business and not to buy drugs.
Chavful, however, already pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was given eight years for his role in the scheme.
"I regret not thinking about the consequences," Hurd said, adding, "I made some dumb, very bad decisions," AP reports.
Read more at the Associated Press.