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Contraband
02/26/2014

Co-defendant in cocaine-distribution conspiracy case involving former NFL player Sam Hurd sentenced in Dallas to 41 months in federal prison

DALLAS — The last defendant convicted in the cocaine distribution conspiracy case that involved former NFL player Sam Hurd III was sentenced Wednesday to 41 months in federal prison.

This sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Toby Lujan, 28, of Dallas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis. Lujan was ordered to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons April 2. Lujan pleaded guilty in September 2012 to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Hurd was sentenced in November 2013 to serve 15 years in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in April 2013 to conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. In addition, in June 2012, Hurd, while on pretrial release, attempted to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and at least 50 kilograms, but less than 100 kilograms, of marijuana.

Hurd's cousin, Jesse Tyrone Chavful, of San Antonio, Texas, was sentenced in October 2013 to serve a total of 127 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in October 2012 to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Since he committed this offense while he was on supervision for a federal drug-related firearm offense, the Court revoked his supervision and ordered that he serve 30 months in custody, consecutive to the 97-month sentence that he received for the instant offense.

Lujan and Chavful agreed to help Hurd with his illicit drug venture which he ran while he played professional football for the Dallas Cowboys, and then later after he began playing football for the Chicago Bears.

For instance, on July 27, 2011, Hurd provided $88,000 to Lujan to purchase several kilograms of cocaine for him, and Hurd also loaned Lujan his Cadillac Escalade to conduct the drug transaction. Law enforcement officers stopped Lujan driving Hurd's Cadillac and seized the $88,000 from a canvas bag containing marijuana residue. Lujan continued to try to acquire cocaine for Hurd, at Hurd's request, which ultimately led to a Dec. 14, 2011 meeting at a Chicago steakhouse. At this meeting, Hurd agreed to buy multiple kilograms of cocaine from an undercover HSI special agent posing as a drug trafficker, on a weekly basis, for $25,000 per kilogram. Hurd was arrested as he left that steakhouse with a gift bag containing a one-kilogram sample of cocaine the "drug trafficker" gave him.

During fall 2011, while Hurd was playing football for Chicago, he contacted Chavful and asked him to find 10 kilograms of cocaine. Chavful then met with witnesses at his T-shirt shop in San Antonio and negotiated the sale for Hurd. On Nov. 10, 2011, Chavful and a witness discussed drug loads going "north," that is, to Hurd in Chicago. Chavful advised the witness not to worry about the payment because Hurd had money. Chavful also cautioned that Hurd could not be present when the drugs were delivered because of media concerns.

During spring 2012, while on pre-trial release for pending federal drug offenses, Hurd met with Chavful at his San Antonio T-shirt shop and asked him to get him cocaine and marijuana. In late May, Chavful met with a witness and agreed to buy five kilograms of cocaine and 200 pounds of marijuana, and told the witness that Hurd, whom he described as "the money," was in on the transaction and ready to move. On June 6, 2012, federal law enforcement officers arrested Chavful after the witness and an undercover officer delivered the drugs to Chavful. Chavful admitted that he had phoned Hurd that day, at the telephone number listed under "Big Sam" in his cell phone contacts, to let Hurd know about the drugs.

Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Tromblay and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kull, Northern District of Texas, prosecuted this case.