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. Adam

    Did he have cocaine in his tea bag ? 😀 I think he is innocent, because the drug dealer he is dealing with, the Tea Party, didn't really tell him what kinda tea he was getting .....

    FREE TREY !!!

    November 19, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. DustyOnes

    Remove him from office.

    November 19, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. BobCIL

    Trey Radel –

    Be serious - the only thing you are sorry about is that you got caught.

    " particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida" –You didn't know you had these responsibilities before you got caught?

    Apologize to Congress and the Nation while you are at it.

    Take your punishment like a man -don't blame ' the disease of alcoholism'.

    November 19, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. penguin

    His arrest gives him the opportunity to seek treatment? As if he couldn't seek treatment before he got caught?!!!!! Drug test all of Congress

    November 19, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  5. charles

    Drug addiction is a choice, not a disease! This icon of the Republican party should resign or be removed from office. He is unfit to act as a representative of the people.

    November 19, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  6. EG

    According to John Boehner it is between Rep. Radner, his family and his constituents. I suggest Mr. Boehner take a look at how lower level civil service workers are treated if they test positive for drugs – the supervisor and managers would be all over it. If not fired, he or she would be required to pay for their rehab stay, recieve leave without pay, placed on probation...etc. If Mr. Boehner truly feels members should be held to a higher standard it should start with him.

    November 19, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. OldSchool

    It's hilarious how these people get caught and say they have an "alcohol problem".

    November 19, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Namebob

    Toronto needs a new mayor.

    November 19, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. Debbie

    so law makers want to test welfare recipients? Fine, but let's also test the law makers. All the scuttle but about Toronto's mayor and this stays pretty quiet

    November 19, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  10. double standard

    If you fail the drug test at your job what happens? Just asking? You keep your job? And it's not even weed but cocaine? So congressmans keep there jobs, oops my bag!! I got knocked. & gets a raise. And thats it. I know all the people fired for dirty urines cant Wait to see how its really done! Jesus was right. You makers of the law put burdens on the peoples back you yourselves are unable to bear!

    November 19, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  11. TEXUS

    Tea Party is becoming Coke Party. Good going folks...

    November 19, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  12. TEXUS

    He too should get a Tv show soon like his Canadian counterpart...

    November 19, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. Mark

    Nice. So how's that "voting" thing working out?

    November 19, 2013 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. thinker

    37 years old! wow the alcohol and drugs have not been good to him!

    November 19, 2013 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  15. Leo

    Guess this is why you believed cops were over paid and deserved to have a 5% "tax" placed on them (as proposed by Gov Rick Scott and eventually 3% was deducted on all state workers). People who don't like or support law enforcement – have a reason not to like or support them. Perhaps this was YOUR reason...

    November 19, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  16. myrtlemaylee

    I pray for all addicts & their loved ones. Always. But I have to say as an American taxpayer I'm more than heartily sick of hearing apologies from politicians. I used to think they should just own up, apologize & make amends. That was before I realized how many I'm supporting.

    I left one abusive alcoholic & refused to take in another & I loved them both. I'm paying big salaries, big perks & bigger pensions for a bunch of addicts that don't even bring me flowers.

    And this bunch of politicians repeatedly collecting money & benefits on my back are also refusing to help any Americans that might possibly be "takers"??? If this guy worked at Wal-Mart he'd be living in a shopping cart. Jesus-jumping-crispus in a sidecar.

    After the apologies, send them home to heal, replace them & possibly collect back any wasted salaries & cut off the pensions. I cannot describe how sick I am of struggling in my own life & watching veterans' & their families struggle – while subsidizing the lives of the privileged & political.

    November 19, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  17. nuclear mike

    He must have been hanging out with the Canuck's from Toronto on the Florida beaches...

    November 19, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  18. Welcome to Lee County Florida

    So everyone in the country gets the full picture of our area-

    Tammy Hall Lee County Commissioner – guilty of misusing campaign funds
    Don Stillwell – Lee County Manager – resigned – sending objectional material from his email.
    Greg Eagle – Plead guilty to fraud charges – Father of Dane Eagle our State Rep
    Samir Cabrerra – convicted of fraud (then released lol) – former son-in-law of Don Stillwell

    Trey Radel is just another in a long list of winners here.
    Would love to see CNN do a investigation and story about this area. It could be a full month of programming.

    November 19, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  19. mhr

    Maybe now CNN can have Anderson Cooper have a round table about this politician, and leave Canadian politics alone.

    November 19, 2013 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  20. MJ

    So. Welfare recipients do drugs. Why should YOU pay for it? Drug Tests...
    I'm pretty sure Radel reached in his pocket to pay for his vices.

    For those of you who want to legalize drugs, please stop drinking the bong water.
    whatEVER would you do with all those people employed by, and the ..30? billion dollars they spend every year
    "czar" fighing drugs? It's huge industry. Propose a way to recapture that revenue.
    Taxing a pack of weedies doesn't count. Wouldn't even scratch the surface.

    Advocating drug tests for all public servants? Good idea. Who want's a coked out plane pilot, school bus driver or policy maker? While we're at it, how about we test all of you, too?

    November 19, 2013 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  21. USMC70114

    An alcoholic who got busted with coke? Did he go to the Rob Ford (Toronto Mayor) school of political science?

    Seriously, from one conservative to another: Quietly resign over the Christmas break, save yourself, your family and state the embarrassment.

    November 19, 2013 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  22. Joe

    This is why I support random, surprise, mandatory drug testing for ALL government employees EPICALLY congressional members – and COPS. Those dam government program sponges deserve no less.

    November 19, 2013 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  23. Ralph

    He'd be calling for someones head if it were someone else. There's no room for drugs and drunks in our government, ever. All government workers must have random mandatory drug testing. No exceptions. They have our lives in their hands, so it's should be above reproach that they be drug and alcohol free while working. They'll have fit because they like to drink while working. That's a fact od life in Washington.

    November 19, 2013 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  24. Say what?

    What's a misdemeanor cocaine possession? Anything white in the Lone Star state is an automatic felony

    November 19, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  25. just me

    A black teenager caught with miniscule trace of crack cocaine is staring at decades of jail time. Time to do away with these mandatory crack sentences. At least there is one house tper who would now agree.

    November 19, 2013 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
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