‘Hip hop conservative’ congressman faces arraignment on drug charge

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) at a July news conference on Capitol Hill. Radel was arrested Oct. 29 in Washington and charged with possession of a controlled substance.
(Drew Angerer / Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Rep. Trey Radel, a first-term Republican from Florida, faces arraignment in a Washington court Wednesday morning after being charged with possession of a controlled substance, according to court documents.

Radel was arrested on Oct. 29 on a charge of cocaine possession, according to Politico, which first reported the story. Radel could face 180 days in jail and a possible fine of $1,000 if convicted.

In a statement released after the news broke, Radel 39 and a former radio talk show host from Fort Myers, said his struggle with alcoholism “led to an extremely irresponsible choice,” and that he would seek counseling. He also said he stood “ready to face the consequences of my actions.”


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“I’m profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida,” Radel said. “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.”

“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 added.
Radel easily defeated his Democratic opponent in 2012 to succeed Rep. Connie Mack, who had left the House to pursue an unsuccessful campaign for the Senate.

Radel describes himself on his Twitter profile as a “hip hop conservative.” He posted several messages on the day of his arrest, including two on issues involving the Affordable Care Act.

The House was in session the day of the arrest, and Radel participated in every vote that day, as well as the following day. He has not cast a vote in any of the four roll calls held this week.

“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,” a spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement.

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