Who were Sam Hurd's alleged clients?

December 16, 2011 (CHICAGO)

In this Intelligence Report: Who were Hurd's alleged clients?

Hurd will go to Texas to face the charges, but the bigger question for federal agents, the Bears and the National Football League is: Who else was involved?

If Hurd was already moving multi-kilo quantities of cocaine from a Mexican cartel, then who were his suppliers, his distributors in Chicago and his customers?

Nearly all of the cocaine and heroin sold in Chicago comes through Mexico, according to U.S. drug agents. The city's cocaine supply is controlled by Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, operated by outlaw Joaquin Guzman, a 5'6" druglord known as "el Chappo" or "Shorty."

The deal that Hurd is accused of scheming -- and any other large-scale illicit drug business -- would have el Chappo's fingerprints all over it, according to federal investigators.

Currently, in Chicago, there is a wide ranging drug conspiracy case being prosecuted against el Chappo's top deputy, Jesus Vicente Zambada-Niebla. Authorities say Zambada-Niebla is the operations boss of the Sinaloa cartel. He is so important to the cartel trade that he was recently moved from the federal lockup in Chicago to a prison in Michigan to await trial because authorities feared he would be assassinated or attempt a take-no-prisoners jailbreak.

As for the question of Sam Hurd's alleged customer, Drug Enforcement Administration officials in Chicago are coordinating efforts with investigators in Texas to determine whether others should be charged or could be squeezed to break this apparent link in the Mexican drug supply line.

The NFL, the Chicago Bears and Hurd's attorney all deny that he was selling drugs to other players.

But the federal agents who had Hurd under investigation since July have not publicly identified his alleged customers either by name or by occupation. As a grand jury in Texas hears evidence in the case, authorities are expected to present Hurd's computer and phone records that should clarify that.

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