Teacher convicted of dealing heroin, faces at least 5 years

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Brian Thurman | Facebook

A federal jury decided Thursday that a suburban teacher was also a heroin dealer.

Brian Thurman, 44, was convicted of distribution of heroin, which carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison. The jury acquitted Thurman of possession of guns in connection with a drug crime.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Kendall ordered Thurman to be taken into custody. His sentencing is set for Dec. 12.

Thurman, who lived in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side, was accused of selling heroin to a man who was then caught with the drugs while driving in Duluth, Minnesota, in 2013.

The man became an informant and helped the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigate Thurman. Thurman allegedly sold about 150 grams of heroin to the man in September 2013 and was arrested.

Agents found two handguns in Thurman’s home, one of which he bought from a cousin who got it when he was a volunteer police officer in Bourbonnais. The government said Thurman had possessed the weapons illegally.

After his 2013 arrest, Thurman admitted selling drugs to the informant and identified his heroin supplier, according to an ATF agent. Thurman agreed to cooperate with the ATF but later changed his mind, the agent testified.

Thurman was the dean of discipline at Joseph Academy in Des Plaines at the time he was arrested, authorities said. He was a football standout at the former Weber High School in Chicago and played for Purdue University in the 1990s.

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