In a scenario befitting the Netflix show House of Cards, conservative Republican Congressman Trey Radel was arrested for cocaine possession on October 29, reports Politico. It isn’t known the circumstances or where exactly the drugs were found.
Radel, who on his Twitter page refers to himself as a “hip hop conservative,” made a public apology shortly after he was charged today and the news got out.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was Sentenced to Probation
Radel appeared in court on November 20 in Washington. Court documents were filed with the D.C. Superior Court today, November 19. He was arraigned at 9 a.m. in front of Judge Robert Tignor, reports NBC 2. An FBI release states:
As a first-time offender, Radel was able to ask the court, under District of Columbia law, to defer entering a judgment of guilty and place him on probation. Judge Tignor placed Radel on one year of probation. If the probation is successfully completed, the court could then dismiss the case without an adjudication of guilt.
2. Radel is Lucky He Didn’t Caught With Coke in Florida
He’s charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in the District of Columbia. The maximum penalty for first offense of possession of controlled substance in the District of Columbia is 180 days in prison and/or a fine of $1,000.
If Radel had been arrested in his home state of Florida, where cocaine possession is a third degree felony, he could face up to five years in prison, five years probation and/or a $5,000 fine.
3. He Blamed It on the Alcohol
In an apology posted to his Facebook page, Radel said his indiscretion stemmed from alcoholism.
4. He Was First Elected in November 2012
He represents the area between Fort Myers and Marcos Island, reports ABC 7. He won with 62 percent of the vote.
Upon announcing his candidacy he told the media there was need for people in Washington “with not just business sense, but common sense,” adding:
…this election is a battle for the heard and soul of this country and we need hones, bold and conservative leadership in Washington. The choices are clear. The path we’re on now — endless debt, deficits and heavy handed government — or a return to what made this country so great.
A government kept in check, low taxes, more money in your pocket.
In separate pre-election interview he said:
I hope I have earned your trust. I want to take that trust to Washington and serve you.
Ontheissues.org says that Radel does not have an established position on drugs or crime and punishment.
Radel worked as a journalist and TV anchor. He lives in Fort Myers, Florida, with his wife, Fox-4 anchor, Amy Wegmann, and young son, Jude, according to Naples News.
He’s a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and graduated from Loyola University Chicago, majoring in communications.
He’s lived in his congressional district since 2001.
5. According to Documents, Radel’s Previous Coke Purchases Had Drawn Attention
In an FBI release, it’s said that Radel and a friend bought cocaine from an undercover DEA agent. The three were in the agents car when the freshman Congressman handed over $250 for 3.5 grams of coke. Radel then invited the agent back to his place, but the agent declined, reports The Washington Post. It’s not known if the agent was male or female.
The documents say that Radel was known to agents and some members of the media as a user of cocaine in the D.C. area.