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. Capt Beefheart

    Gee. Wouldn't it be great if we could all admit to be "profoundly sorry to let down" someone when we get caught doing something stupid? How about Boehner and all the Republicans in Congress being profoundly sorry for letting down the country, or the National Healthcare website developers being profoundly sorry for letting down just about everyone. That would be great, but it doesn't mean anything because there's no accountability. It's just "oops, I messed up. Sorry!" and then continue the behavior because the spotlight has moved on to the next idiot. I continue to find our government beyond disgusting.

    November 19, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. Demigod Vadik, CA

    Ohhhh this is going to be fun tomorrow...

    November 19, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. Phillip

    The only thing he admitted to having a problem with was alcoholism. He didn't even address the serious problem of possession and use of dangerous, illegal drugs.

    November 19, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  4. OrmondGeorge

    Whatever you would do or say to and/or about a Democratic Congressperson, we expect you to do/say it about this clown.
    If you don't, we expect you to be quiet when the next Democrat makes an unfortunate mistake.

    November 19, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  5. David

    He should quit and get help need it and yes every one should be tested

    November 19, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  6. Sammy

    Add another Tea Party law maker who should NOT have been elected. Add him to Gov. R. Scott with 14 felons in TX for a fraud of Medicare of 1.6 billion. then the Idaho state senator who raped in OH and FL, moves to Idaho and the Tea Party elects him to the state senate. The Tea Party continues to elect the less desirable to office.

    The Tea Party is not concerned about the running of government. it just wants to elects felons and criminal to the government. The list is long people so wake up to who the Tea party is electing to office.

    November 19, 2013 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  7. Sammy

    Someone said he was working to hard. The Congress was in session only 126 days this year and next year 113 days. They have done NOTHING this year. Boehner refuses to allow any bills to be voted on. Republicans are obstruction party both in the Senate and the HOUSE. So don't blame hard work for his coke use.

    November 19, 2013 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. SeeThruIt2

    It doesn`t matter whether he`s Republican or Democrat. Scum like this is funding the drug trafficing that causes all of those deaths in Mexico. This guy, Marion Berry, the mayor of Toronto are all merchants of death, along with every scumbag politician who votes to give taxpayer money to people without drug testing them. And your taxes that go to anyone who is on drugs make YOU part of the murder funding too.

    November 19, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. bergus

    are you freaking kidding me!? what happens to joe the plumber when he gets nailed with possession? HE GETS FIRED! and joe the plumber isn't in the business of WRITING THE LAWS IN THE FIRST PLACE. impeach this embarrassment. and send obama with him!

    November 19, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  10. callinfiresupport

    the only thing he is sorry for is getting caught......

    November 19, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. Alex

    This is just silly and a non-factor

    November 19, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  12. nametofollow

    awaiting moderation???

    November 19, 2013 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. mmt

    “I hope that situations like these facilitate a better understanding of the difference in treatment for white and minority drug offenders in the US."

    November 19, 2013 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  14. jay in florida

    This is rich... coming from a state that supposedly has almost zero tolerance for drug possession.

    November 19, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  15. Stove

    This coke head supports drug testing for everyone except himself. Fire this bum and throw him in the can!

    November 19, 2013 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. nick

    "Radel is a former journalist and TV news anchor."

    And that qualifies him to govern how? People really need to start paying more attention at the polls.

    November 19, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. Bing

    Notice that this story shows up in the media almost 3 weeks after the arrest and that there are absoutely no details about the circumstances of the arrest (where it occured, why he was suspected etc.). This arrest is quieter than your everyman arrest; and if you look up the story on other media outlets, these same details are missing too.

    But don't worry, being a Repub with great integrity, I'm sure he will make a full disclosure right before he resigns. Rushbog, Hannity, Krauthammer and all the pundits on Fox will surely slam the guy relentlessly until he is beaten to a political pulp because after all, they just want to report the truth.

    November 19, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  18. Voiceinthewind

    Gee its a wonder congress has passed a bill making it illegal to arrest a congress member for anything including drugs. But this guy can retire with a 150,000.00 dollar a year for life income. What a bunch of parasites and hipocrites we have supposedly running this country.

    November 19, 2013 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  19. Tiny

    I work nuclear power plants and we get random drug and alcohol tests all of the time. As well as psychological evaluation. Our leaders having power over the largest nuclear arsenal in the world as well as our countries wellbeing should have the same as a condition of their employment (representation). Many of them are a pure joke.

    November 19, 2013 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  20. longfisch

    Resign without having to be forced out of office, you have embarrassed yourself, your party, your constituents, and your family.

    November 19, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  21. davidloc

    He can always run for mayor of Toronto

    November 19, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  22. dpatt

    The man had a wife a child ran for congress and won. No excuse for drug use even though sometimes all politicians seem to be so out of touch with reality. It still comes down to this he screwed up.

    November 19, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  23. davidloc

    He can always still run for the Mayor of Toronto , I heard this is no biggie in Canada.

    November 19, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  24. MS

    At least he wasn't molesting altar boys.

    November 19, 2013 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  25. Michael

    I always sorry after I get caught.

    November 19, 2013 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
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