Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine on Wednesday morning, one month after he was arrested in Washington, D.C.
Radel, a 37-year-old Tea Party freshman Republican who has called himself a "hip-hop conservative," was sentenced to one year of supervised probation following the verdict of a D.C. Superior Court judge, Politico reports. He will also enter an in-patient drug treatment program in his home state of Florida. Radel did not comment on whether he would resign from the House.
According to court documents made public Tuesday night, Radel was caught in a federal sting operation. After purchasing cocaine from an undercover agent in D.C.’s DuPont Circle neighborhood, Radel was surrounded by federal agents. Later, federal agents visited Radel in his home, where they also found cocaine. The agents then informed Radel that he would be facing federal charges for his cocaine possession.
CNN's Evan Perez reports that the DEA sting operation was not out to target cocaine buyers, but high-level suppliers and dealers. Once the agents learned that Radel was a buyer, however, they could not ignore the fact and chose to go after him.
"I'm profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida," Radel said in a public apology 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 a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.
"In facing this charge, I realize the disappointment my family, friends and constituents must feel. Believe me, I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions,” Radel continued. “However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side. 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."