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. omvny

    Why am I not surprised that this freshman GOP congressman is using drugs? It's so obvious that this hate and aggression is being fueled by something, now we know what that fuel is – cocaine.

    November 19, 2013 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  2. abby1

    He looks very old for 37. He looks like he is at least 57 years old.

    November 19, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  3. k phelps

    He should resign. He should then move to Canada and run for mayor of Toronto.

    November 19, 2013 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  4. gitfidl

    These people aer making decisions for 300 million of us and dumb ones... and they are making dum decisions for themselves. Last moth it was Trent Franks and this month Trey Radel ... people we need to be careful when we vote ... and DO cvote. It is not just the Republicans .. Bob Filner (feeling up his subordinates). Weener with the cell phone .. and they are deciding BIG issues for YOU and me .. read before you vote and DO vote.

    November 19, 2013 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  5. Marie

    The so called lawmakers decide who goes to jail for what, yet they get busted all of the time for doing the same things they are writing laws for....unbelievable. Legalizeit!

    November 19, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  6. bp

    All he needs to do is blame it on Obamacare and the Grand Old Tea Party will rush to his defense.

    November 19, 2013 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  7. Michael

    Been been to a party with Bob Ford ay??

    November 19, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. bob

    Why doesn't it surprise me that this guy's from Florida? Or that he's a Republican? Because I've lived here long enough to know what to expect of Florida's banana Republicans, that's why.

    November 19, 2013 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  9. Michael

    Been been to a party with Bob Ford ay?? He's 37, my my, I'm 62 and look younger and better than him!

    November 19, 2013 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  10. Jean Sartre

    He will only get a few weeks in jail, if any, pay the fine and the entire House of Representative (HoRs) along with the rest of the GOP will continue to do cocaine... the Tea Party, without the Tea... The news media ALWAYS tells the public the maximum jail & fine... always KNOWING that NO ONE ever gets it or anything even remotely near it!

    November 19, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. EdTom

    A person with dignity wouldnt be a cocaine user. And one should not be shocked that a politician takes the belief that they can make laws for others to follow while not themselves being bound. It is pure and utter nonsense

    November 19, 2013 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. cares4news

    "I'm profoundly sorry..." Oh yeah, only that this Tea Party darling got caught.

    November 19, 2013 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. Jeff Frank (Ohio T Party) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Most of your liberal Democrats need canned. This cat is no better...he needs canned from the get go.

    November 19, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Thomas

    37-year-old freshman Republican “

    He must have been under a lot of stress with the Government shutdown , then the Affordable Healthcare website delay.

    I'm sure he is seeking professional help from some of his GOP friends on the hill , at least his healthcare now covers substance abuse and mental illness .

    November 19, 2013 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  15. Dianne

    If this was a Dem he would be crucified. But he gets a pass from Bonehead who won't even pass a judge. There's your two sides. I wonder what's in that 'coffee' cup he has in every pic. Hmm?

    November 19, 2013 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  16. Anthony in California

    Mandatory random drug testing for ANYONE in Congress, Judges, and President.
    Bad enough their decisions are under the influence of money. Adding drugs to the mix is just scary.

    November 19, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  17. Ian Silver

    Politico says he faces a maximum of 180 days in jail. Nice to hear he can still attend the entire 2014 congressional session.

    November 19, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  18. Chris

    Hope he does time. Boot him. Disgrace to his constituents, his party, the office he occupies, and his country. If he has any respect for self or country he would have resigned. As a teaparty sympathizer, this is EXACTLY the kind of leader we DO NOT WANT in Washington, while it is usually Democrats and Liberals that get caught for this kind of stuff, I have no tolerance for it no matter what party they belong to.

    November 19, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  19. Pbensh77

    37.....the guy looks late 40s.

    Yeah, well, cocaine is a hell of a drug.

    November 19, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  20. wx

    the 'disease' of alcoholism.... what a joke

    November 19, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. Chris

    How is Possession of Cocaine a misdemeanor? Did DC council change the law so that they would not go to prison every time they get caught with it? Looking at you Marion Berry.

    November 19, 2013 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  22. CAL NATIVE

    Legalize Hemp & prostitution, get it away from illicet "drugs", Political Reps pee in the bottle, same as active mil., and pay the National Debt. w/the revinue.

    November 19, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  23. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Well, there goes one teabag from the GOP party of the bible that won't be realected!!

    November 19, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. Bubba

    The cocaine does explain a lot of the GOP behavior. Test them all.

    November 19, 2013 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. Philip

    I commend you for fighting your demons and everyone makes mistakes and I am proud to support you admitting your faults. Good luck

    November 19, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
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