A first-term Florida Republican congressman has been charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, according to charges filed in Washington, D.C., superior court on Tuesday.
Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., faces arraignment on Wednesday in Washington. He was arrested on Oct. 29 for alleged possession of cocaine, which was first reported by Politico. The charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 180 days of imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Radel released the following statement on Tuesday:
"I'm profoundly sorry to let down my family, particularly my wife and son, and the people of Southwest Florida. 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.
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.
Please keep my family in your prayers.”
"Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts," said Michael Steel, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family, and his constituents."
A former actor, comedian and conservative media personality, Radel was elected last fall from a district in south Florida. He's spoken openly about his interest in making the Republican Party seem "cool" to a younger generation, calling himself a "hip hop conservative."
NBC News' Frank Thorp contributed reporting.