In December 2011, the league was shocked when Bears receiver Sam Hurd was arrested on federal drug charges after he allegedly told an undercover officer that he wanted to buy up to 10 kilograms of cocaine and a half-ton of marijuana per week. In effect, the feds claim Hurd was looking to become one of the top drug dealers in the Chicago area.
His trial is set to begin April 8. But now comes word that the government, in an attempt to streamline the case, filed a revised indictment in which Hurd is facing one broad charge of drug conspiracy instead of the original six drug charges.
All of it has confused Hurd's lawyer.
“It took me by surprise. I'm sitting here trying to figure out what happened and why,” Jay Ethington, Hurd's attorney, told the Chicago Tribune. “This is 20 days before the trial starts.”
As a result, Ethington has asked to delay the start of the trial, because he said he needs more time to review the 4,000 pages of document of discovery that the government recently provided him. Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney's office has told the Tribune that the government is ready to go to trial on the appointed date. Meanwhile, Hurd, who accumulated 53 catches in six seasons with the Bears and Cowboys, remains in jail.
“We're just trying to assess what the government's change is,” Ethington said. “They've abandoned a lot of the specifics they've been alleging up until now. I've got to assess how that helps us or hurts them or what's indicated here.”
If convicted, Hurd would face 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine.