Florida Republican Rep. Radel charged with cocaine possession in DC

Fla. Republican faces misdemeanor drug charges


Republican Florida Rep. Trey Radel has been charged with misdemeanor cocaine possession in D.C., court records reveal.

Radel, a freshman congressman representing Florida’s 19th district in the southwest part of the state, was charged Tuesday with possession of a controlled substance. The alleged incident happened on Oct. 29.

Radel, 37, acknowledged the charge in a statement Tuesday, saying he struggles with alcoholism and the disease led him to make "an extremely irresponsible choice."

“In facing this charge, I realize the disappointment my family, friends and constituents must feel," Radel said. "Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions.”

The congressman said he needs to "get help," and that a positive aspect to his situation is it gives him the 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," he said.

According to a bio on his website, Radel worked as a conservative radio talk show host before running for political office. He also has worked as an journalist, serving as an anchor and reporter in south Florida. He is married and has a toddler son.

Radel has not voted on the House floor this week. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement Tuesday the incident was between Radel, his family and his constituents, but that "members of Congress should be held to the highest standards."

The maximum penalty for the charge Radel faces is 180 days of imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000. The probe that led to the charge against Radel involved multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.

He is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for an arraignment.  

Fox News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report