Freshman GOP Rep. Trey Radel was charged Tuesday with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in what a senior Drug Enforcement Administration official described as a sting operation, according to the
Radel, 37, will appear in court Wednesday morning. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 for a first offense.
Radel, a former WINK TV journalist and morning radio talk show host for WFSX 92. FM , issued a statement acknowledging he has a problem requiring treatment.
"I'm profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of
Florida," he said. "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.
The charging document, which uses Radel's full name -- Henry J. Radel III -- says he "did unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally possess a quantity of cocaine."
Radel was caught by federal agents after a dealer they had arrested told investigators one of his clients was a congressman, according to the senior DEA official.
Multiple law enforcement agencies working jointly as a drug task force set up a buy with Radel, who bought the cocaine Oct. 29, the official said. FBI agents arrested Radel that night at his