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Co-defendant in cocaine distribution conspiracy case involving former NFL player Sam Hurd is sentenced in Dallas to nearly 11 years in federal prison

DALLAS – A co-defendant of former professional football player Samuel George Hurd III was sentenced Wednesday to 97 months in federal prison for his role in a cocaine distribution conspiracy.

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

Jesse Tyrone Chavful, 46, of San Antonio, Texas, when he committed the offense, was on supervision for a federal drug-related firearm offense. Because Chavful committed this offense while on supervision, the district court revoked his supervision and ordered that he serve 30 months imprisonment, to be served consecutively to the 97-month prison sentence that he received as a co-defendant with Hurd. This resulted in Chavful receiving a federal prison sentence that totals 127 months.

Hurd, 28, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 13. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of not less than 10 years or up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million. Both he and Chavful pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Hurd’s plea documents also include a sentencing notice stating that on or about June 6, 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.

Another defendant in the case, Toby Lujan, 28, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 8. He pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine and faces a maximum statutory penalty of not less than five years or more than 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million.

According to plea documents filed in the Chavful case, from July 2011 through early June 2012, Chavful agreed to help Hurd acquire cocaine to sell to others. While Hurd played professional football for the Dallas Cowboys, he conspired with others to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana. This conspiracy continued after he began playing football for the Chicago Bears.

During the fall of 2011, Chavful conspired with Hurd to obtain 10 kilograms of cocaine for Hurd to distribute to others. According to court documents, while Hurd was playing football for the Chicago Bears, 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 for 10 kilograms of cocaine 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, are prosecuting this case.