A Florida congressman, Republican Rep. Henry "Trey" Radel, was busted for cocaine possession.
The 37-year-old "Hip Hop" Republican congressman, as he has branded himself in an attempt to appeal to younger constituents, is a freshman lawmaker representing Florida's 19th congressional district. His district, located in southwest Florida, includes Fort Myers, Naples and Cape Coral.
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Radel released a statement Monday apologizing to his family and constituents while promising that he will seek treatment and counseling to help him overcome his struggle with alcoholism, which he blamed for his "extremely irresponsible" behavior.
"I'm profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida," Radel's statement read. "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."
"Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions," Radel added. "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."
Radel was arrested on Oct. 29 after allegedly purchasing cocaine from an undercover DEA agent in Washington D.C.'s Dupont Circle, the Associated Press reported. The Congressman
was reportedly approached by federal authorities in his apartment later that night where they informed him that he would be facing federal charges for purchasing cocaine.
A misdemeanor, the cocaine possession charge carries a statutory maximum of six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. Radel is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning.
The last sitting congressman to be charged with a drug offense was New York State representative Frederick Richmond, a Democrat, who in 1982 was convicted on charges of tax evasion and drug possession, the AP noted.
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