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. frankly

    the new American National Anthem... SORRY!
    hey, he apologized... all better.

    November 20, 2013 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  2. Kman66

    You pathetic bitter Libs are grasping at anything. Ok, so this guy has a drug problem. That does nothing to relieve you of the fact that Obama and his clueless followers have destroyed this country.

    November 20, 2013 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  3. William House

    He should apologize for ever supporting the bigoted, hypocritical and counter-productive War on Drugs and work to stop wasting tax payer dollars on this dark age inquisition that has made America the world's largest per capita prison population.

    I don't care if he does cocaine, I do care if he promotes the bigoted, hypocritical and counter-productive War on Drugs.

    The Drug War is the Real Crime here.

    November 20, 2013 04:20 am at 4:20 am |
  4. Maripil

    Nothing new!! The GOP congressman is notorious and a boozer!!

    November 20, 2013 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  5. Buffalo

    Drug test all of Congress, period. This would be a simple wake up call to keep them honest .

    November 20, 2013 05:47 am at 5:47 am |
  6. mattski

    Oops. Radel was just elected for the firs time, in a hard-fought local election - he is the husband of a well-known local news anchor. Corus, Hubris, Ate.

    November 20, 2013 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  7. mike33901

    As a voter in his district here in SW Florida, I hope he has the class to resign. We don't need a coke addict and admitted alcoholic to represent us in congress. Get better on your own dime

    November 20, 2013 06:18 am at 6:18 am |
  8. Marie MD

    Another rethug that didn't know he was breaking the law or had an excuse as to why he broke the law.
    In other words. He lies about doing something he obviously wanted to do.

    November 20, 2013 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  9. Jim M

    Family values, right?

    November 20, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  10. LOL

    Proof positive the republicans and tea party are a bunch of drug addicts.

    November 20, 2013 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  11. Nick Austin

    This man is a good example of what to do when you're a politician busted for cocaine. Undergo this four-step process: Stop the drugs, publicly apologize, step down from your political position, and immediately get help. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is only doing the first two

    November 20, 2013 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  12. ya right!

    To each his own IMHO, if it didn't effect his job before hand then he had his party under control like 10's of millions of other Americans, time to stop the hate over drugs and let the doctors deal with those who need help to control themselves.

    November 20, 2013 07:19 am at 7:19 am |

    He took the Toronto route and blamed it on drinking. What a surprise. He needs to quickly resign.

    November 20, 2013 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  14. tet1953

    "It was extremely irresponsible for me to get caught possessing cocaine."

    Yeah, I"m paraphrasing the quote a little. But that's what he means.

    November 20, 2013 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  15. Joe

    Typical Tea Party, right wing hypocrite. I live in Naples. This guy trotted out his pretty wife and child during the campaign, touting his non Washington credentials. Posited himself as Mr. Clean Cut, religious, conservative, blah, blah blah. What a joke!

    November 20, 2013 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  16. jim

    You will get a longer Jail term if caught in New York with a nickel bag

    November 20, 2013 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  17. kvining

    There is nothing more satisfying than watching the exposure of a public hypocrite.

    November 20, 2013 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  18. markfromdover

    Uhh...did he disclose his alcoholism before he was elected?

    November 20, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  19. DDubya

    Did Boehner really say "Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards"??? I'm speechless....

    November 20, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  20. Jessica

    LOL, Probably one of those law and order types that gets a Bohner putting potheads in jail and says that all the poor people are drug addicts.

    November 20, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  21. TONE

    @ J-man
    He is a dirtbag, and a hypocrite, drug testing for welfare recipients but not fo rcongress especially republicans.

    November 20, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  22. Bob

    This man sponsored drug testing as a requirement for accessing Food Stamps. Maybe there should be a law that says you can't be a member of congress/house of reps without passing a drug test every year. When I was in the military (1970 – 1974), I was randomly tested throughout my enlistment. Time for the house of reps to live by the same laws they pass for the rest of us. They should held to a higher standard.

    November 20, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  23. Snarky MacFee

    I am absolutely no fan of the GOP or even the Dems...but I feel awful for his family. My 400+ lbs father went through a "phase" in the late '70's and early '80's of "uppers" abuse. He also mixed that with his love of alcohol...not a great time in my household. That being said, I hope he doesn't get a pass on this and confirms that those in Washington MUST be doing drugs!

    November 20, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  24. Technical Jargon

    what the heck is " disease of alcoholism" ?? have some guts to say that you're an abhorent alcoholic with no control over your actions.

    November 20, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  25. JHL

    As Rick James said, "Cocaine is a hell of a drug."

    November 20, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
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