Multiple sources report that United States Representative Henry "Trey" Radel of Florida has been charged with cocaine possession after being caught buying drugs during an October sting operation. The Republican congressman, who was elected last year, said that his alcohol addiction had led him into the world of illegal drugs.
"I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice," Radel said in a published statement. "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."
According to USA TODAY, Radel was identified to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials as a cocaine buyer by his suspected supplier. The dealer was working with the DEA after being previously arrested for an unrelated incident.
Radel's charge is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 180 days in prison and/or a $1,000 fine if he is convicted.
The congressman represents Florida's 19th District, centered in the Fort Meyers area. He is a former television reporter, radio host and newspaper owner.
When asked about the incident, a spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner would not comment beyond saying that Radel's alleged crime should be handled by the court and not other politicians.
As you can see from Rep. Radel's situation, individuals from every level of society can suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction. If someone in your life has a substance abuse problem, contact Intervention Services today to learn how a professional interventionist can help your loved one.