Congressman Busted on Cocaine Charges

Republican Trey Radel represents Florida
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2013 4:44 PM CST
Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – A freshman Republican in the House now has much bigger worries than a re-election campaign. Rep. Trey Radel, who represents Florida's Fort Myers area, has been charged with misdemeanor cocaine possession in DC, reports Politico. The Miami Herald describes Radel as a "libertarian-leaning" Republican in line with the Tea Party and says the 37-year-old might have caught a break by getting busted in Washington: He would have faced felony charges in Florida. His maximum penalty in DC would be 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted.

“I'm profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida," Radel says in a statement picked up by the Naples Daily News. "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, a self-described rap fan and "hip hop conservative," once co-sponsored a bill to ease up on mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, notes the Herald. (Read more Trey Radel stories.)

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