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US congressman Radel arrested for cocaine possession

20 november 2013, 14:06
First-term US congressman Trey Radel of Florida has been arrested for possession of cocaine, court documents showed Tuesday, AFP reports.

A form filed with Washington DC Superior Court says Radel, a 37-year-old Republican, will be arraigned Wednesday on misdemeanor charges of possession of a controlled substance.

Radel issued a statement saying he was "profoundly sorry to let down my family... and the people of Southwest Florida." He did not mention cocaine.

"I struggle with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice," he said.

"I am disappointed in myself, and I stand ready to face the consequences of my actions."

The charge carries a maximum of 180 days in prison and/or a fine of $1,000, reports said, citing the US attorney's office.

Radel is a former TV reporter, radio host and newspaper owner. He was elected to Congress in 2012, largely with support from the conservative Tea Party movement.

Speaker John Boehner's office said the matter was "between Representative Radel, his family, and his constituents."

"Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts," a Boehner spokesman said.

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