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Rep. Trey Radel pleads guilty to cocaine possession

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rep. Trey Radel pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday after he was caught buying the drug at a restaurant in the nation's capital in late October.

Court documents said Mr. Radel, Florida Republican, was charged with "unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally" possessing a quantity of cocaine, The Washington Post reported.

He purchased 3.5 grams from an undercover officer, Fox News reported. He also had a quantity in his vehicle, Fox News said. He received one year of supervised probation, skating the larger six-month prison term the charge carries.

Shortly after Mr. Radel was arrested in Dupont Circle, he admitted he was an alcoholic, the Daily Mail reported.

The congressman, 37, was arrested Oct. 29 for misdemeanor drug possession, but charges just were filed on Tuesday, the Daily Mail said.

Shortly after the charges were filed, he took to social media to give his apologies.

"I'm profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida," he said on his Facebook page. "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 loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them."

He also expressed awareness that his constituents were probably disappointed — but then suggested a bright side.

"This unfortunate event does have a positive side," he wrote, as the Daily Mail reported. "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."

He finished with a plea: "Please keep my family in your prayers."

Mr. Radel represents Fort Myers, Naples and Cape Coral.

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