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. Wake up People!

    Aw come on give the guy a break. What's a little Coke between friends?? Looks like it's time to start drug testing Congresspeople also. If it's good enough for those lazy layabout ghetto dwellers it's good enough for them too.

    Oh yeah and please whatever you do, don't leave the trailer dwellers out.

    November 19, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. wronglong

    He should be forced to step down. Someone who is given access to sensitive national security information cannot be a drug user. A little crack from the wrong person can result in a security breach.

    November 19, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. John B

    Resign now. Immediately. Sick of those in Congress living double standard lives. I'm a member of the GOP and another embarrassment on the front page. Just as administration failure was evident – boom – another GOP'er to the rescue to take the health care debacle off the front page. Way to go.

    November 19, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  4. dave takashima

    Great…now -we can have CNN air 24 hours on this GOP coke-head. He will be better than watching NEWS about the mayor.

    CNN has dropped the BAD news about Obamacare in order to report on the daily life of Mayor Ford. Now, we can learn all about the Republican coke head. Great news!!!!

    November 19, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  5. gahh

    Alcoholic, and cocaine user, yep he's a qualified Republican politician alright.

    November 19, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  6. HoustonOilMan

    I like Chuck's idea of drug testing for all of congress. Almost anyone with job is subject to this even before they are considered for hiring so why shouldn't congress too?

    November 19, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  7. Crashman

    "the charges come with a maximum 180 day imprisonment and/or $1,000 fine. "

    If it were crack he'd be facing 15 years.

    November 19, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. yes he can

    I'm sure he'll be given special treatment/plea deal to pay $1000 fine with no jail time. That's our judicial system. We all know the legal profession is plagued with a high number of crack and alcohol abuse. They'll just request for the record to be sealed.

    November 19, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  9. its a tough life man

    I guess we can blame his drug habit on lack of obamacare. If he had that instead of the Congressional healthcare he could have been in rehab sooner.

    November 19, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  10. MiloSaimese

    Great – Rep. Trey Radel has apologized. I bet he is sorry - that he got caught.

    He needs to resign. He has proven he is unfit to hold the office.

    November 19, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  11. Colo001

    Wow what else can you really say? WOW

    November 19, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. SD Jim

    He was just holding for a friend! Honest officer its not mine! Don't you know who I am?
    More Republican hypocrisy!

    November 19, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  13. ThisIsNot4U2

    This does NOT surprise me in the least. The REPUGS run on the DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO platform. Just like when they're against abortion...until one of their MISTRESSES gets pregnant...*smh*...

    November 19, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. burbenstreet

    this should be a felony charge, like they would give to any other american. He should be impeached, charged with a felony drug possession charge, and serve jail time. Leaders in american politics should be, at the very least, held to the same standards as everyday americans. I cannot believe our judicial system is ok with this. The DA needs to refile charges to send a message to our elected "Civil Servants" that they do not live above the law.

    November 19, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Paul Bearer

    Gee, he went from lawmaker to lawbreaker. Now, he is singing: I gotta get help. Pathetic.

    November 19, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  16. Jake

    Lock him up for the maximum sentence, if he thinks it's unfair he should have proposed some legislation. Also, forcing mandatory drug testing for all elected officials (and law enforcement) would have this stupid drug war ended within months.

    November 19, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. origen

    He's poor, minority or indigent it's a helluva a lot more than 180 days imprisonment or $1000 fine

    November 19, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  18. Johnjon

    thats 37? he's had a rough life.

    November 19, 2013 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  19. str82dapoint

    How much coke did he have, and just where did he score it?

    November 19, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. sharkguitar

    This might go along way towards explaining the irrational behavior we've been observing from house republicans.

    November 19, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  21. irock

    Unlike the rest of us that have to live under regular drug testing these guy`s are above the law. That is untill their very irratic behavior becomes so obvious it can no longer be ignored.

    November 19, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  22. juluka

    Another upstanding representative claiming the clay feet defense, while inhabitants of his state have to undergo mandatory drug testing before they can receive welfare benefits. And how fortunate for him that he was arrested in Washington and not California eg, where this would have been a mandatory felony and he would have contributed to those overcrowded prisons.

    November 19, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. Squealy

    "The Choice Drug for Dems: Weed
    Weed:Lazy Behavior
    The Choice Drug for Republicans: Cocaine
    Cocaine: Reckless Behavior"

    Choice drug for Dems: Weed
    Weed = intense concentration on projects
    Choice drug for republicans: Cocaine
    Cocaine = scattered erratic behavior

    November 19, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. Zon

    Wonder if he's in one of those 'safe' districts the Republicans like to carve out? An alcoholic and coke-head. The wing nuts sure can pick 'em.

    November 19, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. Adam

    A typical Republican . Imagine for a moment a republican doing drugs , you will end up imagining Bush 😀 ... Being republican is already enough to suggest the guy is high and dumb 🙂 I guess dumb people do drugs ....

    November 19, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
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