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. Oh cmon

    RESIGN then wash your laundry privately

    November 19, 2013 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  2. Barasheit

    Yes, drug test all politicians!

    November 19, 2013 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  3. StormySyndrome

    Darned Americans! Always trying to outdo everyone in everything. Canadian gets busted with crack, ours gets busted with coke. Shoulda been weed.

    November 19, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  4. erichx101x

    Don't think for a minute that this is the end of your political career. In fact this may be the jump start it needed. How does leader of the free world grab'ya?

    November 19, 2013 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  5. Dave

    Yet again a message from the party of family values.

    November 19, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  6. shehar39

    the difference between conservatives and libs.. conservatives will say fire the guy if he messes up.. the libs will back a guy to the bitter end for the "common good" like the good communists they are

    November 19, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  7. shehar39

    the difference between conservatives and libs.. conservatives will say that this guy should resign.. the libs would back their guy to the bitter end like the good communists they are

    November 19, 2013 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  8. Joe

    You know . . . give the dude a break . . . it's just a bit of coke . . . which by the way was available in any drug store near you back in the day. It cured a lot of ailments.

    If everyone was tested, for any and all drugs, then fired if they used, there would be NO ONE WORKING.

    Put life into context. Recreational drugs are just that . . . for recreation. I think that up here in Canada we have a more liberal and compassionate view of “herbs” and “beverage”. Come on up!

    November 19, 2013 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  9. Mike

    How about mandatory random drug testing for congressmen and senators? If they pass the laws and support others being tested, why not set the example? After all, what could be more important than the welfare of the country?

    November 19, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  10. stungun

    Things go better with coke

    November 19, 2013 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  11. rorge and raggie

    you know he may rat out his suppliers for a lighter sentence,,,and do you know what gop stands for?as my beautiful wife says grandpas on pampers lining their diapers with our money for cocaine use and rehab what the hell drug test them all period,

    November 19, 2013 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  12. Joe Plumber

    Another Republican drug hypocrite. Surprise, surprise.

    November 19, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  13. underwaterops

    I guess he's a long way from holding office in Toronto.
    In the meantime, let's hope he's a short way from prison.
    Since every other government employee has to undergo random and routine drug testing, it's time that Congress members had to suffer the same to take office and keep it.

    November 19, 2013 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  14. Sonny

    It has nothing to do with politics....ther have been cases on both sides. This guy ruined his career...hard to comprehend

    November 19, 2013 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  15. ST Jones

    Wow, the Tea Party can sure pick 'em!

    November 19, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  16. Loathstheright

    Republican family values.

    November 19, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  17. lisalisa

    Drug test from the top down! Politicians, law enforcement officers, doctors, teachers, etc., Basically those who are in positions that affect the lives of others. I mean really, does anyone care if their local 7/11 clerk uses?

    November 19, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. Peter

    Rank and file government employees have to take a drug test before they get a job. Why does congress get a free pass on the test? Aren't they government employees? Don't the rules apply to everybody?

    November 19, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  19. Sandra

    Politician, Test Thyself. Does this mean, that since he was arrested for cocaine possession, and will most assuredly test positive for drugs, that he will no longer be getting any money from the government, aka his salary?

    November 19, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  20. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    It's the lamestream media's fault for reporting it.

    November 19, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  21. Juergen

    "Trey Radel is a husband, a father, an entrepreneur and a Conservative voice in the United States House of Representatives, representing Florida’s 19th Congressional District.

    Before running for Congress, Trey hosted one of Florida’s premier Conservative TV & Radio Talk Shows – Daybreak, on TV-6 & 92.5 Fox News.

    Outside of radio, Radel ran a Media Relations company that focused on advancing conservative causes. Radel says, “I have fought for and will continue to fight for lower taxes, less government and more freedom.”"

    I knew a bunch of Conservatives had to be on dope.

    November 19, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  22. blakenaustin

    It is time to resign. We have enough lowlifes in Washington already.

    November 19, 2013 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  23. Mopery

    Drug test congress, or at least make some effort to prevent the corruption that is so blatantly rampant these days. America: The best government that money can buy!

    November 19, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  24. JayDavid

    He should resign. Oh wait, he's a law and order Republican, so he'll make excuses and NOT resign.

    November 19, 2013 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  25. MrShabazz

    If he resigns Congress maybe he can run for the mayor of Toronto.

    November 19, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
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