Drug War

Ex-NFL Player Charged as Drug Kingpin Gets 15 Years in Prison After Pleading Guilty to One Count of Drug Conspiracy

Faced up to life in prison after pleading guilty


at least he didn't play for the browns?
Jeffrey Beall/Wikipedia

The Government pursued a drug kingpin charge against former Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd after he was allegedly caught in December 2011 purchasing a kilo of cocaine from undercover agents and agreeing to purchase up to ten kilos of coke and 1,000 pounds of marijuana week from them. He pled guilty in April and faced up to life in prison because of the amounts of narcotics allegedly involved, and was sentenced to 15 years today.

The charge was part of two years of federal investigations into Hurd, as explained in a great Sports Illustrated piece on the saga by Michael McKnight. Hurd had been getting marijuana sent to him from California while playing for the Cowboys and later the Bears, but the feds found no evidence he ever made a profit off the marijuana he shared with friends.

Hurd appears to have first showed up on the radar of federal authorities when an informant tipped off an ICE agent based in Dallas that someone (Hurd) was looking to buy a large amount of cocaine. ICE's purview is border security, but drug trafficking appeared close enough. Based on the tip, they were able to seize $88,000 from Hurd's Escalade, which was being driven by his mechanic, who was either the brains behind the attempted drug deal or a go-for for Hurd, depending which you ask. Hurd actually went to the ICE office, showing them a bank statement that listed his withdrawal of the money and explaining it was being used to buy a house for his mother (Hurd says now this was what the money was allegedly for). He was unable to get the money back the federal agents, and it appears his mechanics' attempt to earn the money back for Hurd was what led nearly two dozen law enforcement agents to participate in the sting that caught Hurd and the mechanic trying to purchase cocaine from undercover agents.

Read the whole Sports Illustrated piece, it's worth the read, and marvel at the waste of life, money, and time that the war on drugs leaves in its wake.

Hurd, notably, would not qualify under any program the Obama Administration might embark on to lower drug sentencing because the government still treats larger-scale drug crimes much as if they were capital offenses, and hasn't even made an attempt to show more leniency to people whose lives were ruined over far smaller consensual narcotics transactions.


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  1. I’m surprised you only linked to the Sports Illustrated piece twice.

    The War on Drugs is wicked.

  2. And next time, link to the single-page version.

    1. I thought the second link was

  3. ICE’s purview is border security, but drug trafficking appeared close enough.

    Enough with the snark, Ed. You know all these agencies “share intelligence”.

    1. Would that they were as incompetent as healthcare.gov at sharing information.

  4. Well, I feel safer.

  5. Persecuting people for altering their brain chemistry in a way you don’t like — brilliant!

    1. Hey, he’s black and they couldn’t find anything else!

      1. Then they weren’t looking hard enough. Three felonies a day and all that. 🙁

      2. Yeah, the .gov never goes after white people for drugs…

        Does every fucking thing have to be about race?

        1. The drug war is one of the actual places where claims of racism are legitimate.

          1. A lot of drug dealers happen to be minorities, a lot of drug users happen to be white, and the system punishes the dealers more harshly than the users. Is the whole perverse system just a fabrication set up that way to get darky? I don’t think so. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’d be more inclined to take the claim seriously if it wasn’t so remarkably similar to so much other institutional victimology dreck.

            1. You do realize that whites and minorities both use drugs at similar rates and that whites are far less likely to be arrested for it…

            2. Its not just the dealers, but users too. Even though all the races use drugs at similar rates Blacks are far more likely to get arrested, get charged, get convicted, and get jail time. And it’s not even close.

              1. “Blacks are far more likely to get arrested, get charged, get convicted, and get jail time. And it’s not even close.”

                White kids get rehab, black and brown kids get rehab behind bars. And, yep, it’s not even close.

                1. A) Could there be other factors not controlled for that explain the difference in arrest and incarceration rates? (Like maybe black people disproportionately live in shitty neighborhoods where cops have a stronger presence; use drugs that carry longer min sentences; etc). Racism has to have intent. It’s possible that the entire drug war is a conspiracy against the black man, but you have to be careful about making causal connections. IMO, YMMV.

                  B) Is any of that really relevant to a black millionaire professional football player getting caught up in a sting operation for coke smuggling? Is it likely a white millionaire professional football player under the same circumstances would have been treated less harshly? It’s possible I could end up eating my hat, but I’d be willing to bet white privilege doesn’t extend that far. Then again I suppose a white guy would never have been targeted for picking up a kilo of coke in the first place…

                  1. Wealth matters too, of course. Blacks are disproportionately poor.

            3. ACtually, PM, you should read the shit that Anslinger was saying to get Congress to ban recreational drugs.

              It was racist, and intended to get darky and wet-backy and chinky. Explicitly.

              “When a darkie smokes the reefer he thinks he’s as good as a white man”

  6. Dammit reason I’m dying of boredom in this class and this is all you can offer me? Makes me wonder why the hell I’m paying JidaKida for this damn online subscription.

    1. Wait for SugarFree to show up and post one of his bodice rippers.

    2. Wow! Jack Frapp’s not gonna like that one bit.


      1. I actually clicked that link out of desperation and boredom, hoping to find a massive comment battle fought out by the old anonbot armies from the second age. Damn you Alamanian, damn you.

        1. Nothing cools happens in Canada.

  7. Jury nullification on all drug cases. That should be our rallying cry. Eat, sleep, shit jury nullification. What’s that? Jury nullification. Who’s knocking on the door? Jury nullification. What’d you eat for dinner last night? Jury nullification. What’d you name your first born? Jury Nullification…

    1. There was a conference last month where this came up. I linked to the story in another thread – haven’t you been obsessively following my links?

      “Drug Policy Reformers Weigh Jury Nullification to Stop War on Drugs”


    2. Didn’t we just have a thread about how we’re all terrible at getting on juries?

  8. So I tried commenting on that Marcotte article linked earlier where she asserts that “Libertarianism can’t work because nobody knows everything!”

    Unsurprisingly the commenting system at The Raw Story sucks and it took 2 hours for one of three comments I posted to pass moderation. But here’s one exchange:

    Me: The assertion that libertarianism requires 100% perfect knowledge is a bizarre one. If human beings do not have 100% perfect information and thus cannot be trusted to make the ‘right’ choices, then what makes the bureaucrats and regulators in government better off? Are they not human? Are they perhaps modeled from some different type of clay?

    Hayek disproved all this nonsense almost 70 years ago, but of course people who critique libertarian thought can’t be bothered to read a book or an essay written by one.


    glenn_uk ? 23 minutes ago
    Yes – actually they are moulded differently. The regulators are – generally speaking – people who have expertise in their particular subject.

    Your objectivist fantasy relies on everyone being expert in every subject. Which – really – is kind of silly.

    I know it’s futile, but I do love eliciting such idiotic responses.

    1. Yeah, Hayek’s whole point is that people don’t need to be an expert in every subject and of course that people are generally better experts on the subject of what they want and what they are willing to pay for it than some regulator bureaucrat. Therefore centralizing things DESTROYS INFORMATION in the system, hence is bad.

      1. Yeah, well, Hayek wasn’t even a Top Man. What does he know?

        1. For me, the concept that socialism destroys information was a real light bulb moment reading Hayek. Socialism sucks for a lot of reasons but that is a pretty objective, elegant measure of why it sucks.

          1. As offensively stupid as that article was, I will say I’m glad it gave me a reason to re-read “The Use of Knowledge in Society”.

            Unfortunately they didn’t accept my main comment where I quoted it and even left a link to the complete article at Mises.org

            1. The link is probably why it was rejected

              1. Maybe, although I’ll admit I took a pretty snarky tone about Aman-duh’s intellectual prowess and the breadth of her knowledge of information economics.

                A subject which she no doubt spends many hours pondering in between feeding her cats and dressing up as a man and oppressing herself.

                1. I can’t believe you would use such hate speech in your manslapation to her.

                  1. Mansplation*

                  2. This is Raw Story’s commenting policy:

                    4. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism. If your comments contain any of these things or other slurs similar to these, your comments will be removed and your account immediately suspended. This includes comments that smack of veiled slurs (dog whistles) as determined at the discretion of Raw Story ? but note that we work on the Internet, and we quite likely know exactly what your “subtle phrasing” means.

                    5. Attacks on editors, writers, staff, moderators and management. Our staff is no less subject to criticism than those we write about ? but there’s a pretty large gulf between criticism and attack. Abusive language, attempts to bully (in comment threads or in any platform, including email and social media) or ad hominem insults aimed at those who work for Raw Story will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate suspension of comment accounts and/or the deletion of comments.

                    I’m sure I something I said violated those two rules.

                    1. It’s almost like they are operating on a college campus. Yay!

          2. Snark Plissken|11.13.13 @ 11:32PM|#
            “For me, the concept that socialism destroys information was a real light bulb moment reading Hayek.”

            According to WaPo, O’care is ‘delayed’ largely as a result of the various committees trying to figure out what coverages ‘should’ be included; f’ing Gosplan apparatchiks guessing what size shoes Workers’ Factory #4 should make next year.
            They flat ran into the knowledge problem that every central planner does.

            1. Not to mention the fact that price itself is really just a form of knowledge or information. Information which can very quickly and accurately reflect supply and demand in an open system.

    2. I was also feverishly searching through the comments on that blog to find any sign of intelligent libertarian life, in the end I found the best way was to just scan for comments with the most downvotes. Also, why are you burning brain cells on that limey when you could instead be fortifying them with booze at the anthill pub as I am.

      1. I wish I was at school instead of at home sending out work applications and hoping for a call-back.

        1. Employers can tell if you filled out your application at a bar?

          P.S. What type of jobs?

          1. I can still go out on weekends, but I’m trying not to upset my parents who are very insistent I get a job–any job–while I’m living back at home. Plus I’m conscious about saving my money when I’m not working.

            I’ve been looking at mostly retail and entry level office jobs. I can’t afford to be very picky about it.

            1. How entry level are we talking? Stuff that doesn’t require you to have gone to college?

              1. Most job listings of that kind say that a bachelor’s degree is preferred, but the essential skills are proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.

                1. What did you major in?

                  1. Political Science. I know, not really helpful but that’s what I got.

                    1. Political Science.

                      Do you know how to push a broom? Carry trays? Stock merchandise?

                      Don’t feel too bad. I too believed that lie that “if you take what you’re interested in, the money will come.”

                    2. And now I’m considering law school.

                    3. My wife graduated from Loyola Law School 6 years ago. She was #1 in her class. That said, I do not recommend it. If your parents are willing to write a check, then go ahead. I just paid off her student loans last year, and I was not in a very good mood afterward.

                      I hear kite boarding is a much safer career choice:

                    4. You paid off her student loans? So is the trick to marry a person with a well-paying job?

                      In any case my LSAT score was average so I’m not sure what to do now.

                    5. She graduated Summa from Berkeley and enrolled in law school while we were living together but not married, so I never saw any of the FAFSA docs and assumed that she was getting some sort of aid. After we got married, we started filing jointly and I saw all of the loans. I flipped the fuck out. Some of the private ones were at 8 percent.

                      The next time I write a 6 figure check, it had better be for a Lamborghini.

                    6. Well I was definitely going to only apply to a public law school in state, but I’m not sure if the investment is worthwhile.

                      The only thing I got going for me is that I have relatively little student debt, just $20,000.

                    7. There are too many lawyers. The job market sucks for lawyers now, and it isn’t going to get any better. My wife does very well, but is the exception to the rule.

                      Some of these kids were promised 6 figures if they were at the top of their class, but are making closer to 50K. Some can’t find jobs at all.

                    8. If you have nothing to lose, take a risk. I did when I was your age (software), and it paid off big time. I’m itching to do it again (I’m thinking about starting a restaurant), but now that I have a wife, kids, and a house, I don’t think it would be a smart idea…

                    9. The trick is ALWAYS to marry someone with a well-paying job.

                      A cousin finished law school at Pepperdine two years ago and his professors lamented that now was not the time to become a lawyer. That of course may have changed by the time you would get done with school, but he did very well in a good program and is payed much less then he expected.

                    10. Oh, Jesse. Even if they’re ugly?

                    11. What do you think life insurance is for?

                      You don’t know someone, who knows someone, who’s connected to an Eastern European mob?

                    12. I’ll just drop this here for you. If you are a rational actor this will be informative.

        2. Filling out applications? What the hell are you trying to do? Get a job and work for your money?!

    3. “Yes – actually they are moulded differently”

      Got that? Nancy Pelosi is an expert!

    4. [glenn_uk] Hayek? Who the heck is that? I’ve been told all libertarians are Rand devotees. Could I possibly be misinformed?


      1. Yeah, I’ve never even read Rand and don’t have any plans to. But knowledge of free market economics means I’m a Randian clone who drank the kool-aid, unlike those incredibly intelligent and independent thinkers.

    5. What you said:

      The assertion that libertarianism requires 100% perfect knowledge is a bizarre one.

      What glenn_uk (aka dumbass) replied with:

      The regulators are – generally speaking – people who have expertise in their particular subject.

      Glenn, reading comprehension is your friend. It doesn’t want to hurt you.

  9. Great alt-text or greatest alt-text?

  10. Two Secret Service agents cut from Obama’s protection detail for sexual misconduct

    The disruption at the Hay-Adams in May involved Ignacio Zamora Jr., a senior supervisor who oversaw about two dozen agents in the Secret Service’s most elite assignment ? the president’s security detail. Zamora was allegedly discovered attempting to reenter a woman’s room after accidentally leaving behind a bullet from his service weapon. The incident has not been previously reported.

    In a follow-up investigation, agency officials also found that Zamora and another supervisor, Timothy Barraclough, had sent sexually suggestive e-mails to a female subordinate, according to those with knowledge of the case. Officials have removed Zamora from his position and moved Barraclough off the detail to a separate part of the division, people familiar with the case said.

    I see paid vacations and reassignments are standard at the Federal level as well.

    1. The most elite assignment is working as a security guard?

      1. So they’re in the Pres’s Secret Service detail – what’s the worst that can happen?

        Oh, right…I mean *besides* that?

  11. “Hells Angels is suing 8732 Apparel and Dillard’s Inc. in federal court, claiming trademark infringement of its famous skull-with-wings logo known as the Hells Angels Death Head.

    “…The defendants seek to exploit the “great commercial value” of the designs for their own gain, the suit states.”


  12. Andy Kaufman‘s Brother Says Comedian is Alive, in Love and Has a Daughter

    1. Is he goofing Elvis?

    2. If only there were a simple scientific way to find out if the “daughter” is lying…

  13. lol, i say off with his head already!


  14. He was unable to get the money back [from] the federal agents…

    Why doesn’t that surprise me?

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