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. Archie Bunker III

    Our country is run by Crackheads.

    November 19, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Blame the Blame

    I can't believe these guys are blaming alcohol abuse! It's almost like saying the coke abuse was responsible for my
    --–(fill in the next substance).

    November 19, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Sherri

    "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." If he was a Democrat, Boehner's statement would be completely different. Of course, Boehner is well known for the drug of choice – alcohol and cigarettes.

    November 19, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. Paul

    Another republican hypocrite voting to drug test poor people and then caught with his own "stash". Let me guess, he will ask God to forgive him and all will be forgiven.

    November 19, 2013 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. GonzoinHouston

    Some guy from Florida is doing cocaine? What's the issue? I mean, is this considered abnormal for Florida?

    November 19, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. Aaron

    Random drug testing would prevent this. Any banker would have to submit to this why not gov... Same with teachers police etc ... Why not elected officials? Sabotage?

    November 19, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    An we blame Obama for All the crap happening is Washington, LOL.

    November 19, 2013 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  8. livingston

    Didn't Cantor just get done saying something about zero tolerance when it came to misconduct? Lets see what he does about this. Anyone want to bet he does nothing?

    November 19, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  9. ORChuck

    “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.”

    I wonder what the royalty payment on that speech is? It can't be that expensive because it seems to be the standard stock speech that politicians use in this situation.

    November 19, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  10. Chappy Quickwit

    who acts like they're on coke? Republicans that's who!

    November 19, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. cbp

    I hope justice is served and that the Congressman is treated just like every other drug offender. He should resign his position.

    November 19, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  12. Troy

    @Just: "I would venture to guess that the majority of public officials engage in illegal behavior."

    The majority of people "engage in illegal behavior," whether it's using drugs, shoplifting, speeding, or downloading copyrighted material. Since public officials are people, then it would follow that "the majority of public officials engage in illegal behavior."

    November 19, 2013 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. RickLee

    37 years old?!! That coke and booze certainly ages. I figured him for 50+ by the photo.

    November 19, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  14. Pat O.

    Maybe him and Toronto Mayor Ford can party together... lol

    November 19, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. Robert McGowan Jr.

    Come to South Carolina see the mess we have . I give you 3 examples . of how we say bad ' good old boy's cant play any more. Police officer Claude & Wendell Bellamy of Murrels Inlet , plus 1 other Bellamy brother robbing Banks . Our State Treasure Thomas Ravenel busted with 5 keys of COCAINE ! And Associate Warden of a South Carolina state Prison busted with 5 keys of Cocaine and 50 grams of Crack . And this goes on and on . . . I am soooo ready to leave this country .

    November 19, 2013 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  16. aaron

    Now this is a normal politician. He's apologized for the behavior that he's undoubtedly condemned and demanded swift, merciless punishment for others for engaging in (Rush Limbaugh style). Checklist....apologize, then go into rehab, get saved (again), then watch the contributions flow in from his all-forgiving supporters (most of whom should be grateful not be institutionalized themselves). Oh, and pull the standard rich people strings....hours served, probation only, a pocket change fine.

    November 19, 2013 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  17. djcjsnow

    he is only sorry because he got caught. He will be sorry again ,the next time he gets caught.

    November 19, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  18. B

    Please, let's dispense with the hypocrisy and just legalize it already. 40 years, trillions flushed, everyone has it, anyone can get. Congressman Radel, please do the right thing – take back your apology and say that you've had it with Prohibition and criminalization of substances. Legalize it, tax it and offer treatment to addicts.

    November 19, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. 180 days in jail

    give him some conservative republican love, 180 days in a DC jail as first time offender.

    Or he can claim the Rush Limbaugh offense and blame a liberal.

    Conservative republicans, they are good for something.

    November 19, 2013 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  20. LandSlide

    Pot?.......kettle?.........

    November 19, 2013 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  21. John Tater

    Now he thinks it's a disease.

    November 19, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. airjackie

    The rookie officer will be fired and the Judge will dismiss the charges. The funny thing was the charge of cocaine being labeled a misdemeanor when the legal charge is indictable. But with hundreds of Congress/Senate using drugs and never being stopped. As NY Mayor Bloomberg does the profiling of arrest for the right people.. Speaker Boehner is seen high at ever State of the Union Address. But at lease Senator Rand Paul said he is a drug user and looking to make it legal but also said whites don't get stopped. This arrest was clearly a mistake and just an apology will be enough and Trey continues his drug use.

    November 19, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. JM

    Politicians who are caught doing illegal activities should be forced to RESIGN. They have proven they are not law abiding and People we put in power need to be consciencious people who are able to take care of the communities theyserve. If they cannot even take care of themselves, they are definitley not capable of caring for their communities. They should also never be able to apply for office again either. Our politicians are scumbags it seems. Thats the new requirement.

    November 19, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  24. Mike

    Snl should have fun with this one!

    November 19, 2013 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. jbiz

    Way tho BLOW your first term as a senator lol

    November 19, 2013 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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