Former Chicago Bear Sam Hurd faces lifetime in prison on federal drug charges

November 12, 2013 (CHICAGO)

The ABC7 I-Team finds that former Chicago Bears receiver Sam Hurd faces life in prison without parole at his sentencing Wednesday on federal drug charges.

There is video of the fallen-NFL star from the night he was arrested in northwest suburban Rosemont.

On December 14, 2011, video shows Chicago Bear wide receiver Sam Hurd walking out of Morton's Steakhouse in Rosemont to his car in a dark parking lot. He was carrying a gift bag containing a brick of cocaine. Moments later, federal agents and police moved in.

It was the beginning of the end for the Bears player and on Tuesday night, the first video of Sam Hurd's final moments before his life changed.

Video shows Sam Hurd after meeting with undercover drug operatives, seen on surveillance video apparently recorded by police.

With that, Hurd was arrested, carrying this happy birthday bag and it in this kilo of cocaine.

He has since pleaded guilty to federal charges in a case punctuated by big money, big cars and big questions about whether he was supplying NFL players with drugs.

Hurd's career as a Bear is long over. On Wednesday, in a Dallas courtroom he faces what the government wants to be a life sentence without parole, because on that night at the Rosemont eatery, Hurd agreed to move 50 kilos of cocaine per week into Chicago.

Hurd's attorney tells the I-Team "all of the cocaine discussed and distributed in this case in Dallas, Chicago and San Antonio was provided by the government." He will argue for far less than life.

In a jailhouse interview published on Sports Illustrated's Monday morning quarterback website, Hurd is quoted as saying while playing in the NFL he smoked high-grade California marijuana ''all day, every day'' Marijuana - shipped from California at a shared cost with his friends; including 20 to 25 Dallas Cowboys teammates - the team he left for the Chicago Bears.

At age 28, that's history for Sam Hurd, a career and freedom that ended when he walked out here on December 14, 2011.

10 years ago, he was a standout receiver in Northern Illinois. Some believe he dealt cocaine while he was there. Hurd is married to his NIU sweetheart. Those close to him describe how he led a double life. In 2010, he won the NFL's Ed Bloch Courage award, voted by teammates for an award that honors role models and players of inspiration, sportsmanship and courage during a time he using drugs, admittedly on the federal plate.

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