- Associated Press - Friday, December 16, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd was locked up in federal custody Thursday as his stunned teammates learned he had been charged with trying to set up a drug-dealing network following his arrest with more than a pound of cocaine.

U.S. Magistrate Young Kim ordered Hurd held until at least Friday while prosecutors and defense attorneys work out bond details before he is sent to Texas to face charges.

The handcuffed Hurd declined to comment on the charges. Asked before the hearing if he was still a member of the Bears, he said: “As far as I know.” He shook his head when asked if he had talked to anyone on the team.

Sam intends to fight these charges, and we intend to defend him fully,” said high-profile defense attorney David Kenner, one of Hurd’s lawyers. “We have complete confidence in him.”

Kenner told The Associated Press that he and partner Brett Greenfield had not evaluated all of the information in the case. But Kenner _ who successfully defended rapper Snoop Dogg against murder charges _ said he had other cases where the evidence appeared to be stacked against his client.

“They start off looking terrible, and then we end up with `not guiltys,’” Kenner said.

Kenner and Greenfield said they expected Hurd to be released from custody Friday.

Hurd, 26, was arrested Wednesday night after meeting with an undercover agent at a Chicago restaurant, according to a criminal complaint that says the player was first identified as a potential drug dealer over the summer as the NFL lockout was coming to an end.

Hurd told the agent that he was interested in buying five to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana per week to distribute in the Chicago area, the complaint said. He allegedly said he and a co-conspirator already distribute about four kilos of cocaine every week, but their supplier couldn’t keep up with his demands. A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds.

Hurd told the agent “his co-conspirator is in charge of doing the majority of the deals” while he focused on “higher-end deals,” the complaint said.

He agreed to pay $25,000 for each kilogram of cocaine and $450 a pound for the marijuana, according to the charges, and then said he could pay for a kilo of cocaine after “he gets out of practice.” He walked out of the restaurant with the package and was arrested.

The criminal complaint was filed in Texas, where the U.S. attorney said Hurd faces up to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine if convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine, or half a kilogram.

Hurd’s agent, Ian Greengross, did not return messages seeking comment. The NFL said it was looking into the incident while the NFL Players Association declined to comment.

Coach Lovie Smith said the arrest was a disappointment and a “total surprise,” adding that Hurd was still a member of the Bears for now.

Sam wasn’t in meetings this morning and that’s how from there of course we started searching trying to find out why a player wouldn’t be here,” Smith said. “There was no tipoff, didn’t know it was coming.”

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