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. Louie

    Votes to enact laws but doesn't respect the laws that have been enacted. Disgraceful He needs to go.

    November 19, 2013 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  2. B. Wurtz

    This is DELICIOUS!!! A typical republican. Hypocritical lowlife addict. He sobs;"Boo hoo hoo! I'm sorry to my wife and kids. Boo hoo. Feel sorry for me now!" Go suck a tea bag, junkie.

    November 19, 2013 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  3. unretired05

    Always regrets getting caught and is always ready for treatment and so willing to repent. Till after the next election when he will be educated on how to not get caught.

    November 19, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  4. Jerry

    As a former teenage stoner who gave-up all that crap when I turned 16 I say, "Grow up, America!"

    November 19, 2013 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  5. Ed

    Being a Republican, the war on drugs party, he should have to serve the full 180 days and pay the full $1,000 fine then lose his job and be required to complete a drug treatment program after his release. And since he is now a known drug user be barred from working for any government agency and while out of work after prison, be barred from receiving any for of social assistance. Fair is fair.

    November 19, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  6. Jonathon Powelly

    Ah, the party of family values. Doesn't it just give you a tickle in all those strange places?

    November 19, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  7. russ el

    Mandatory drug testing for all elected officials.

    November 19, 2013 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  8. normsl

    Our own mayor Ford. Except Ford has the dignity to take responsibility instead of blaming it on a "Disease". What a liar. If it was a disease he would not have been able to function to the level of elected office. Always shift the blame. Typical. Would expect no less.

    November 19, 2013 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  9. Stevel

    We need to drug test everyone of congress

    November 19, 2013 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  10. Jack

    No comment, except he who lives in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

    November 19, 2013 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  11. bestionkdooley1

    Hey! How about some love for me. I'm "struggling with the disease" of speeding. Three tickets in the past 2 months.I'm glad to know it's a disease. The judge actually blamed me, like I can stop a disease. She just doesn't understand.

    November 20, 2013 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  12. America1st

    In a nutshell, RESIGN. Get it over with.

    November 20, 2013 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  13. BDR

    "Offers you an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling.....opportunity,you didn't just win a trip to Disneyland.
    What would have been wrong with creating your own opportunity before you got caught rather than trying to say that somehow getting caught offered you the seek treatment and counseling.

    November 20, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  14. patw2100

    Why has this person not resigned?

    November 20, 2013 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  15. mike johnson

    ... but he needs to go ... we cannot have criminals making laws for the rest of us

    November 20, 2013 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  16. fedup

    T he punishment for the crime shameful. Gettibg caught with the same amount in crack cocaine will get you 9x as many years. The unfair sentencing laws need to change.

    November 20, 2013 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  17. Ricky

    LOL. This is the guy who wanted drug testing for the "lowlife welfare recipients"! I guess they should have passed a law to ask for drug testing for those running for congress. LOL, classic Republican!

    November 20, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  18. Carol Peterson

    It's so ironic that he wanted to drug test all of the welfare recipients. Our country does not need fools and drug addicts making our laws.

    November 20, 2013 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  19. ANNIER

    Another example of 'do as I say, not as I do'....

    November 20, 2013 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  20. Dana Ri

    How many blacks are sitting in jail for exactly the same thing, getting high mandatory sentences because they can't buy right lawyers to abuse the system?

    November 20, 2013 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  21. Rick

    Politics aside cocaine is a terrible drug. Alcohol is a catalyst for most users. Of course I tried it back in the 80's with a wash of alcohol. I never liked the rambling all night talkathons about every little thought or childhood miscue. I haven't done any coke in around 25 years. I think it has been 19 years with no alcohol. He should quit drinking and avoid the buddies. He doesn't have to hate anyone or blame anybody like the Crack using mayor, I mean face it people do dumb things when they are hammered. In my case quitting drinking made sense even at the cost of a social life. Just stay busy and don't rely on others for your happiness. For me alcohol allowed me to forget about the stress I had at the time and sleep. These days there are no hangovers and I look forward to every day. I know people who have done the crack, they are not bad people just misguided. I guess they just sit there and space out [what a waste]. I think the word CRACK is a clincher. It just doesn't sound good.

    November 20, 2013 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  22. jce3227

    How does a sitting congressman get away with not reporting a cocaine arrest for three whole weeks to his constituents??? My guess is, if Obama had been arrested for cocaine, Radel would have found time to tweet that, and retweet it too.

    November 20, 2013 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  23. Thomas

    "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."

    Hey Boehner , friends don't let friends dive drunk . The guy admits he's an alcoholic and gets busted with blow on him.

    Why don't you enable him some more and appoint him to head the congressional comity on insight ?

    You are powerless over his behavior , yet your leadership regarding order and law is appalling.
    "Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards , yet you do nothing to insure the standards are held high .

    Your a do nothing spineless enabler .

    November 20, 2013 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  24. wiseup:

    In almost all work places if you get caught using illegal drugs or test positive for illegal substances or alcohol if tested during or just before or after shift, you are immediately terminated. Congress person should face same fate. Once you get caught it is too late to seek rehab instead of termination.

    November 20, 2013 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  25. Mel Stricker

    Maybe he should move to Toronto where politicians openly using drugs is OK.

    November 20, 2013 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
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