Tea Party Florida congressman to be arraigned on drug charge

MIAMI Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:39pm EST

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MIAMI (Reuters) - U.S. Representative Trey Radel, a Tea Party Republican from Florida, is due to be arraigned in a Washington, D.C. court on Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge of drug possession, according to court documents.

The Tampa Bay Times reported on its website on Tuesday that the drug possession charge involved cocaine. According to the Times, "A court document said on October 29 Radel 'did unlawfully, knowingly, and intentionally possess a quantity of cocaine, a controlled substance.'"

In a statement Radel apologized to his family and constituents in southwest Florida, saying that he struggled "with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice."

Radel, a freshman member of Congress who calls himself a "Hip Hop Conservative, Lover of #liberty" on his Twitter page, faces a possible six months in jail.

"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."

"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," he said, adding that he would be seeking treatment and counseling.

Had he been arrested in Florida, where cocaine possession is a felony, Radel could be facing even more serious legal problems, including loss of his voting rights and the right to carry a firearm.

Before running for Congress, Radel hosted a conservative TV and radio talk show in Florida.

The Tea Party is a conservative political movement that emerged nationally in 2009 in protest of the federal government.

(Reporting By David Adams and)

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Comments (5)
lmktacwa wrote:
“the disease of alcoholism”… love how this tea party loon goes straight to victimhood… which is what the tea party is so disparaging of, right…? I bet you my next 500 paychecks that this guy did not let everyone know who was voting for him that he is a “VICTIM” of “ALCOHOLISM” (Fake “disease” for those with no ability to have self control). typical hypocrites.

Nov 19, 2013 6:51pm EST  --  Report as abuse
TheNewWorld wrote:
Hah, this wouldn’t be an issue if we had our personal liberties restored. Throw him in jail and treat him like one of the peons.

Nov 19, 2013 7:12pm EST  --  Report as abuse
WhyMeLord wrote:
OMG, as if Zimmerman on the loose again isn’t enough to keep you from ever visiting Florida, this idiot puts the icing on the cake.

Nov 19, 2013 8:11pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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