Former Chicago Bears receiver Sam Hurd has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for his role in trying to setup and arrange and multi-state drug trafficking operation. According to the Chicago Tribune:

Hurd, 28, pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiring to possess and distribute cocaine and marijuana, just days before his trial was set to begin. He was charged with drug conspiracy, accused of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana beginning in July 2011 until June 6, 2012.


Sam Hurd

Sam Hurd

U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis scolded Hurd for his role in the operation, though it should be noted that Hurd never actually sold drugs. Still, his interest and intent was criminal:

“For some reason you chose to go another route and go down the drug trafficking route,” Solis told Hurd in a courtroom half-filled with Hurd’s family and friends. “You wanted to get into it in a big way. You didn’t just start nickel and diming it.”

Reports say Hurd dropped his head and cried upon hearing the sentence and gave a tearful apology to the court, his family and friends. 

“I have a lot of regrets,” said Hurd, his thin 6-foot-3 frame in an orange jump suit. “I regret not thinking about the consequences.”

Well, he’ll have plenty of time to think over the next 15 years. This story is so tragic. Hurd, who overcame a hard life growing up in San Antonio to reach the pinnacle of sports success is now a statistic of his environment.  The money and the position earned by playing in the NFL wasn’t enough. Why he wanted to go this route I’ll never understand.

Hurd said he was addicted to marijuana, and that his actions, including accepting a kilo of cocaine from an undercover officer and then telling the undercover officer and an informant that he was trafficking and looking to do increase the production was all due to his addiction:

“Everything I’ve done in relation to this case is a direct result of my marijuana addiction and would get me and lead me to more marijuana,” he said.

Hurd tested positive for marijuana in 2012 while out on bond and since then has been in federal custody. Hurd doesn’t feel his sentencing is fair, but federal prosecutors feel otherwise:

“He is not being prosecuted because he’s an NFL player,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kull. “He’s being prosecuted because he’s a drug dealer.”

Now Hurd has to figure out how he’ll move on with his life. With all the trappings of success these stories remind us that talent doesn’t equate to character. 

It’s too bad he didn’t put that energy into something positive.

Your Jersey Girlfriend,

~Angela Davis

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