Rep. Trey Radel charged with cocaine possession

12:02 AM, Nov 20, 2013   |    comments
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Rep. Trey Radel (R-Florida) (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)

 

(USA Today) WASHINGTON - Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., was arrested for possession of cocaine, according to court documents.

Radel, a freshman first elected last year, will be arraigned Wednesday in District of Columbia Superior Court. He was arrested Oct. 29 for "unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally" possessing "a quantity of cocaine," according to a charging document from the U.S. attorney's office.

Congressman Trey Radel sent this statement to the media via Facebook:

"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 Tuesday. "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."

Radel continued: "Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions. 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."

Similar: Toronto mayor in spotlight after crack cocaine confession

The charge is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum of 180 days in prison and/or a fine of $1,000, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Radel, 37, represents Florida's 19th Congressional District, centered in the Fort Myers-Naples area, in a seat that was vacated by Republican Connie Mack when he made an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate.

Radel is a former radio host, TV reporter and newspaper owner who was swept into office with Tea Party support. He was born and raised in Cincinnati, where his family owned a funeral home company.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the incident is "between Rep. Radel, his family and his constituents."

"Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.

King also reports for the Gannett Washington Bureau. Contributing: Donna Leinwand Leger

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