Ex-Chicago Bears WR Sam Hurd in talks to plead guilty
September 18, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- One-time Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd is in serious negotiations to plead guilty to federal drug charges, according to his attorney and court papers filed Tuesday in Dallas.
In what apparently is a draft of a plea agreement filed with the court, Hurd would plead to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 5 kilograms of cocaine. Under federal sentencing guidelines and the terms of the draft agreement, Hurd would face at least 10 years in prison.
An attorney for the former NFL and Northern Illinois University player is taking issue with the release of the draft plea agreement, suggesting it was filed prematurely by prosecutors. Lawyer Jay Ethington says the filing consists of "draft documents" and tells the ABC7 I-Team that all of the details had not been agreed to.
However, similar to illegal procedure in football-where the game goes on-negotiations to reach a completed plea bargain are expected to continue. There have been rumblings that Hurd was in plea talks for several weeks, escalating recently when co-defendant Toby Lujan pleaded guilty and pledged to testify against his friend.
Messages left with the U.S. Attorney's office in Dallas have not been returned.
Hurd was arrested last December outside a Rosemont steakhouse after authorities said he has just consummated a deal to buy multi-kilos of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week to peddle in metro Chicago. He was still on the Bears roster at the time. Even though Hurd pleaded not guilty to two federal drugs charges, the team let him go.
Hurd was originally freed on bond but then prosecutors convinced a judge to return him to jail after he failed drug tests and allegedly tried to buy drugs while out on bail. There is still a trial date of October 9th but attorney Ethington says plea talks will continue and tells ABC7 that there is a 50-50 chance the case will end in a guilty plea.
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