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. tim

    I'm in the wrong profession!!!!

    November 20, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  2. TiredOfPaying

    'Guess who vehemently supports drug testing those awful, undeserving, subhuman welfare recipients. GUESS.'

    Oooohhh! I know! Its him, isn't it? Hypocrite is too mild a word to use for this human garbage.

    Side Note: When Florida forced all welfare reciepients to take a drug test, the COST of the testing exceeded the benefits eliminated by failures by over $200,000. Seems that although drug use is about 10% of the general population, only 1.9% of the Welfare reciepients tested positive. To me, that shows that the Poor are 5 times more 'moral' than the general population. Stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it, Tea Party!

    November 20, 2013 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  3. hecep

    You see? Now this is good. This is what is known in the world of intervention as... a "good" thing. All it takes is a simple heartfelt apology, a promise that he'll seek help, and assurances that he'll never do it again. That's all that's required to give you the nice warm feeling that he would never ever in a million years place himself into a position that would leave him as wide open as a barn door to extortion of the type that would undermine his promises to his constituents and force him give in to the extortionist at the expense of the wider public's interests.

    November 20, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  4. Jessica McGwin

    Cocaine, crack, bath salts, krockidol, black tar, meth are chemical weapons. And it is working. Entire cities have fallen, bankrupted. DC is next. As these agents spread deeper into our society, our financial markets will be hit, our jobs will be lost, illness and side effects will take hold, our ability to defend against evasion non extant. It is a generational long term strategy disable power structures, disable fighting forces, divided the people, weaken resistance and distant s. 40 yrs, them with in 3 conquer and move in. Well done China they do not even know what has hit them. Wars are fought generations in advance.

    November 20, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  5. Moving to Toronto

    This dope should run for Mayor of Toronto... Ford Nation will love him cuz he only SNORTS da blow, not smokes it in da crack pipe.... C'mon People, US Congressmen don't do the nasty ROCK... they grind it up and snort it off keychains in the rest rooom at the bar ( or thru that C note) ....then they stay up all night reading the Health Care bill.... and MISS the vote the next day cuz they asleep ..."Cocaine don't make me lazy, Cocaine just make me crazy ..." ( pssst, bet he VOTED for family values and against weed legalization)....

    November 20, 2013 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  6. Maine liberal

    “However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling"

    under the ACA probably lol sweet

    November 20, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  7. Pretty Ricky

    LoL, at all the libs crying for him to resign and saying there is no place for drugs in congress, yet their Idol Obama plainly stated he smoked pot, and used cocaine often. No doubt this congressman should get help, get sentenced, and be subject to random drug testing for the rest of his term, but hypocricy works both ways.

    November 20, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  8. vikingwoman

    I couldn't help but notice he never appologized to his const.ituents! You know, the people who voted him into his cushy job to begin with, who depend on him to speak on behalf of their interrests! Pretty sure they noticed, Radel!!

    November 20, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  9. mike

    Look the guy at least took the high road in these circumstances. Not saying his actions were right but monitor what happens from here on out. He is still a human and maybe he should resign... Regardless, Lets remember that he's still human and last time I checked none of us are perfect. The real losers here are the guys wife and son.

    November 20, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  10. Rachel

    How do you blame being caught with cocaine on alcoholism? Is he trying to claim he was drunk when he purchased it?

    November 20, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  11. Thorp lastenbar

    I love watching the Conservative right fall apart right in front of our very eyes! Glorious!

    November 20, 2013 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  12. I'm glad some people think this is funny

    Drug use and possession should not be criminal. If you're doing it and driving, that's one thing. If you high/drunk at work that's another issue. If you know anyone that battles these addictions it's awful and there are very few choices for treatment.

    November 20, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  13. Sharkmann

    They write the laws but do not feel the need to follow them, that is why the US is in trouble.

    November 20, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  14. Evenstar

    A lawmaker breaking the law, this is what's wrong with Washington. They make the laws and are so utterly arrogant they deem it below them to actually abide by the laws they make! Fire them all!

    November 20, 2013 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  15. Glenda

    Perhaps this makes it necessary for all that hold public office to submit to drug and alcohol testing like the general public is to ensure job performance. Our nation will go to hell in a hand basket if we continue to allow these degenerates stay in office, vote them out and require those voted in to submit to testing

    November 20, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  16. Goaty McCheese

    Please resign now. There is no room for drug users in my party.

    November 20, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  17. BOb

    While this was clearly not the wisest move on his part, I have to say that why does it REALLY matter to anyone else? Why should we care? Why send him to court? Just because we say so? Our drug policies are counterproductive.

    November 20, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  18. Edwardo Cruzo

    Alcohol is a 'Gateway Drug'

    November 20, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  19. think4yourself

    This is exaclty how I want my tax dollars spent. Rehab for elected officials.

    November 20, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  20. ironman59

    Another example of the american taliban and their values. We want rules on you that we have no intention of following ourselves. In addition we will condemn you for your failings that you are unfit, lazy et al. However when we get caught it is an "error in judgement" or a "moment of weakness". It is time to get these 2 faced clowns out of office.

    November 20, 2013 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. Relictus

    Oh cool ... maybe this will go down like an American, Republican version of Rob Ford (the cocaine mayor). Republicans talk a lot about moral values, but then you learn that they have cocaine or alcohol problems, and some of them are into bondage. Plus I sometimes wonder if their "death penalty" views are based on a "hide the bodies" mentality.

    November 20, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  22. NYVeteran

    Typical GOP hypocrite!

    November 20, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  23. GhengisJohn

    For all you people who want to bring race into this and say if it was a black guy he would have been crucified. Heres a tidbit for ya the former mayor of washington dc marion berry not only got caught on film smoking crack with prostitutes while he was in office he got convicted of cocaine possesion and what happened to him? He got reelected for another term as mayor so dont give me that song and dance about this guy getting off cause hhes white

    November 20, 2013 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  24. Jack M

    If he were a poor, black man he'd be in jail by now. Rich, white Congressmen get a slap on the wrist and an opportunity to say they're sorry.

    November 20, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  25. CanuckCat

    Send him to Toronto . . . He qualifies as mayor!

    November 20, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16