Florida congressman pleads guilty on cocaine charge


McClatchy Washington Bureau

Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., pled guilty in a soft voice Wednesday to one count of cocaine possession, and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.

Busted following an undercover sting outside a Washington, D.C. restaurant on Oct. 29, the conservative freshman lawmaker acknowledged he is an addict and pledged to enter a residential treatment program near his hometown of Naples, Fla. The 37-years-old tea party favorite said he has already begun out-patient counseling in Washington, D.C., though the exact nature of his addiction was not specified during the 25-minute court hearing.

“I apologize for what I’ve done,” Radel said in a packed courtroom. “I think in life I’ve hit a bottom where I need help, and I have aggressively sought that help.”

District of Columbia Superior Court Senior Judge Robert Tignor, after hearing a Justice Department prosecutor lay out the facts behind Radel’s arrest, accepted the congressman’s guilty plea and imposed the probation with what he described as light monitoring. Tignor also ordered Radel to pay $250 into a victim’s compensation fund.

Radel potentially faced a sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine


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