Radel charged with cocaine possession

Greg Nash

Freshman Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) has been charged with possession of cocaine and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning.

In a statement, Radel blamed a struggle with alcoholism and said he will seek treatment, but made no mention of resigning from the House.

“I'm profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida," he sad. "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, 37, was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance, according to D.C. superior court records. The substance was cocaine, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

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A misdemeanor carries a maximum of 180 days of imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000.

Radel, who did not cast any votes in the House this week, according to the House Clerk's website, said he was ready to face the consequences.

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

"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.”

“Please keep my family in your prayers.”

A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said lawmakers should be held to "the highest standards."

"Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts. Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family, and his constituents," the spokesperson said.

Radel was first elected to Congress in 2012 to represent a Southwest Florida district spanning Fort Myers, Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs and Cape Coral. He won the Republican district with 63 percent of the vote and has been a prominent face of the party, making mulitple media appearances and frequently using social media.

He serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 

Before his election, he worked as a TV anchor and reporter. He is married to a Florida TV anchor, and they have one son who was born in 2011.

He told The Hill in July that he had no desire to be a career politician and that he only wanted to stay in Washington  until “I can be content with the work I’ve done.”

— This story was updated at 5:22 p.m.