'Hip Hop Conservative' Rep. Trey Radel Charged With Cocaine Possession

Congressman due in court Wednesday on charges of cocaine possession.

Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., has been charged with cocaine possession.
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Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., was arrested on cocaine charges October 29 in D.C., according to Politico. Tuesday, he was charged with the misdemeanor of possession of cocaine. The congressman is expected to appear in court Wednesday.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, according to Politico's report.

Radel was elected to Congress in Nov. 2012 and serves on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as well as the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

In a statement to the press, Radel admitted he was an alcoholic, which led him to make "an extremely irresponsible choice."

[RADEL OP-ED: If Egypt Chooses Military Rule, U.S. Should Cut Aid]

"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," Radel said. "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 said he would be seeking counseling to cope with his addiction.

"This unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling," Radel said. "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."

Radel is a former television newscaster and radio host. The freshman congressman is part of the House GOP's conservative wing, but has gained a reputation on Capitol Hill as an outspoken advocate for rap music. The congressman has also attracted attention for his spirited tweets and an impromptu review of Jay-Z's last album.

[AP: Fla. Congressman charged with cocaine possession]

House Speaker John Boehner's, R-Ohio, office issued a statement that the leader would not take any actions against the congressman.

"Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards, and the alleged crime will be handled by the courts. Beyond that, this is between Rep. Radel, his family, and his constituents," a Boehner spokesman said.

In a Buzzfeed op-ed in July, Radel embraced his reputation as a "hip hop conservative" as he discussed how rap opened his eyes as a kid and helped him to understand other cultures.

"Immediately, the hip-hop artists did what artists have been doing for centuries – they opened my eyes up to a whole new world," Radel wrote. "They described their experience as young, black men coming of age during the crack epidemic, gang wars and violence in every direction. Where else could a sheltered suburban kid hear or learn about these issues in such a graphic way?"

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