Nearly two years after being busted with a brick of cocaine in his steakhouse doggy bag, Hurd, a former NIU and Chicago Bears wide receiver, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
For the once hardworking ball-catcher and still-married father, Wednesday marked the bottoming-out of an incredible fall from high-paid gridiron glory. Federal authorities say Hurd, 28, secretly fancied himself as wannabe drug kingpin when he played for the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys. He was brought down just after cutting a deal with undercover drug informants to supply him with enough cocaine and marijuana to satisfy his "high-end deals."
Hurd was sentenced Wednesday afternoon in a Dallas, Texas federal courtroom after pleading guilty last April to a single count of cocaine and marijuana distribution. Because of the large amount of drugs he had agreed to import, the minimum sentence was 10-years. The government was seeking a life sentence without parole.
The unraveling of Hurd's charmed lifestyle came in December, 2011 when a team of Chicago law enforcement agents converged on him outside a suburban Rosemont eatery. He had just left a leisurely dinner meeting with two men who were secretly working for the FBI and posing as major drug suppliers. They recorded the meeting, during which Hurd bought a kilo of cocaine and agreed to regular, large deliveries, authorities said. The deal totaled 5 to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week.
In a jailhouse interview published Tuesday, Hurd told Sports Illustrated that he personally smoked marijuana "all day, every day" and that he supplied weed to two dozen NFL teammates.