November 19th, 2013
05:09 PM ET
6 years ago

Congressman charged with cocaine possession

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Trey Radel is due in D.C. superior court Wednesday, charged with misdemeanor cocaine possession after an October 29 arrest, according to court documents.

The 37 year-old Florida Republican is serving his first term in Congress after winning office last November.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office said Tuesday that the charges come with a maximum 180 day imprisonment and/or $1,000 fine.

“I'm profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida," Radel said in a statement released by his office. "I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.”

“However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling. I know I have a problem and will do whatever is necessary to overcome it, hopefully setting an example for others struggling with this disease.”

Radel is a former journalist and TV news anchor.

"Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts," a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. "Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family, and his constituents."

–CNN's Deirdre Walsh, Alison Harding and Greg Seaby contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (385 Responses)
  1. The Real Tom Paine

    I guess the Right now has a second drug addict they love, after Rush Limbaugh.

    November 20, 2013 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  2. Jessica McGwin

    I have been saying for years that all elected offices should be subjected to random drug testing. Regardless of his "issues" the money he spends on his habit contributes to the funding of violent criminal organizations. Our DEA and DOD personal face these horrific acts of drug cartels across the globe. This man may have a health issue thousands do. Nothing I the face of this earth says I do not love you louder. I feel for the service members in his district. I feel for law enforcement that serves under his authority. That is what I call "friendly" fire. He should step down from his position. If you are unable to make positive decisions in your personal life than I do not believe that you will make positive decision for this country or your people. He decides when and if we go to war. Nuclear weapons, chemical agents and biological agents are with in his signature and Vote. Is that a risk you would take with your child, sister, brother, mother, father or friend?

    November 20, 2013 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  3. tara stats

    The apologies and the I need help are always said after these politicians get busted. No one seems to reach out before they are found out.

    November 20, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  4. JustMe

    State said "I hope once this older generation dies off". LOL LOL LOL I'm much older and we old folks view him as a toddler. LOL. He's only 37! A mere child. But I will give you credit State, we must give up these drug wars. We should be spending money on programs to deal with addiction rather than incarcerating people for petty crimes for years. From an old fart! Sorry, I just can't help myself from laughing.

    November 20, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  5. stainpouch

    Ah Florida Republicans. What a crew. I bet he'll be a welcome addition down at the county lock up. Yeah. Wait a minute–how does one get charged with "misdemeanor" cocaine possession? Is that a different law set up for Republican Congressmen or do we all get to treat narcotics possession like a traffic ticket? There are thousands of people in FL prisons for possessing small amounts of pot. I can hardly wait for Florida to be underwater. I hope it's soon.

    November 20, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  6. Mark Stabler

    Resign and go home.

    November 20, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  7. ironmike

    This bum should be thrown out of congress and told to get a real job-$174,000+$10,000 for medical and he is a coke head.

    November 20, 2013 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  8. Spike5

    Shouldn't the first lines of this article read "Congressman Trey Radel, who voted for mandatory drug testing for food stamp recipients while abusing drugs himself, was caught buying cocaine from an undercover cop. His excuse: that he is an alcoholic as well as an addict. In his home state of Florida, his crime would be a felony and he would lose his voting rights, possibly forever."

    The real story is his hypocrisy in asking forgiveness for himself while insisting on the harshest possible treatment for a poor person who commits the same acts.

    November 20, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  9. Malory Archer

    CHUCK
    Good for him that he has insurance to pay for treatment... That you and I pay for.

    he voted to deny it for millions of uninsured Americans.. Proving once again what a bunch of hypocrites the rethug/tea bag toddlers are.

    November 20, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  10. pourmonamijc

    The "disease" of Alcoholism"; how convenient!

    November 20, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  11. crabman1

    what a clown -- he should be thrown out of office --– break the law lose your job

    November 20, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  12. pourmonamijc

    The "disease" of alcoholism, how convenient.

    November 20, 2013 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  13. Ace

    Every get together he offered to bring the coke, now we know what he meant.

    November 20, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts," a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. "Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family, and his constituents."
    -------------------------
    TRANSLATION: "It never happened as far as we are concerned."

    I want to know what Darrel Issa has to say about this. Nothing, that's what. Democrats shouldn't let this be swept under the rug. The party of morality certainly knows how to display compassion for one another.

    November 20, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  15. Malory Archer

    nnnnnnnnn
    Well, everyone does cocaine. Who cares.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    No, "everyone" doesn't, and the two people that I know who use are worthless, scumbag individuals who can't keep a job to save their lives and whose numerous screw ups have cost them their families and every possession they have ever owned.

    November 20, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  16. Ann

    Hey, folks, he's just showing his support for small business .... his local dealer.

    November 20, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. Malory Archer

    J-Man
    There are 2 sides of this. I would have expected this to be a Democrat not a Republican. I expect much better from Republicans. Secondly, on the positive side this guy took responsibility for his bad decision which as far as I can tell no Democrat has ever done.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except when a Dem gets caught, they're ostracized by their party, forced to resign, and if an actual crime was committed they serve jail time. When a rethug/tea bag toddler gets caught, apologists like you fete the individual, reelect them and deflect to the dems.

    November 20, 2013 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  18. ShawnDH

    Why isn't this lazy moocher being DRUG TESTED?

    November 20, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  19. Clinkster

    Tea party hypocrite.

    November 20, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  20. Malory Archer

    frtysixntwo
    He's 37?!? It's a hell of a drug.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Teabag toddlers are all alcoholic coke heads – two of the worst substances one can introduce into their bodies. Yeah, the tighty righties have set the bar so low that short of intentionally nuking one of our closest allies, I'll continue to support the guy who "lied" about a website.

    November 20, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. Rudy NYC

    J-Man

    There are 2 sides of this. I would have expected this to be a Democrat not a Republican. I expect much better from Republicans. Secondly, on the positive side this guy took responsibility for his bad decision which as far as I can tell no Democrat has ever done. Charlie Rangel is as dirty as they get and fought his charges in the Senate. He said that they were coming after him because he was black. No Charlie they came after you because you misused funds and had an office in a rent controlled area. Both are stealing, no matter what color your skin is.
    --------------------------–
    It's nice to see how the right wing treats transgressions by their own. Sweep it under the rug, pretend that it never happened, and then deflect attendtion your elsewhere by criticizing something unrelated.

    The above reply, ladies and gentlemen, is the classic "bait and switch". They want to distract you into arguing about something entirely different from the matter at hand. An argument that they feel that they can win. You beat it down by ignoring the Rangel remarks entirely.

    November 20, 2013 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  22. Roger

    There is not much to talk about here. I knew there was trouble ahead when I read "Florida" and "Republican" in the same sentence. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

    November 20, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  23. midwest2

    Will have to check FAUX news to see if this story is covered there. Am guessing it's not. And this is, yet, another case of "Do as I say, not as I do." So sick of it.

    November 20, 2013 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  24. Kathy

    Gee and Boehner is doing NOTHING about it!!! IF it were a Dem there would be an ethics committee investigation!

    November 20, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  25. Pinkman

    They did a test once and found something like 95% of all bills in circulation in DC had trace elements of cocaine on them.

    November 20, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
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