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Rep. Trey Radel pleads guilty to cocaine possession

(CBS/AP) WASHINGTON - Florida Rep. Henry 'Trey' Radel pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor cocaine possession and was sentenced to one year minimally supervised probation and was ordered to pay $250 to a victims compensation fund, CBS News has learned.

The charge threatened a maximum of 180 days of imprisonment in addition to a possible fine up to $1,000.

Radel appeared in court wearing a black suit and a blue striped tie. His wife was not present. 

A prosecutor said the FBI and the DEA learned Radel bought cocaine multiple times and used the drug alone and with others. He was arrested Oct. 29.

Radel, who's serving his first term in the U.S. House, said in a statement Tuesday that he is "profoundly sorry."

"I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice," he said in the statement. "Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions.

"However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side: It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling," he went on, requesting prayers for his family. "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."

A GOP leadership aide told CBS News the news of Radel's arrest came as a shock.

Somewhat ironically, Radel is the cosponsor of H.R. 1695, Justice Safety Valve Act of 2013, which would give judges more flexibility on sentencing in cases involving mandatory minimums. He's also gone on record as citing his favorite vacation spot as Cartagena, Colombia, which as of 2004 accounted for 80 percent of the world's cocaine production.

Radel, 37, is a former television news anchor and conservative radio talk show host and represents southwest Florida. His election last year marked his first foray into politics.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, remarked on the arrest in a statement: "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."

  • Crimesider Staff

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