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US Rep. Trey Radel of Fla. will resign after pleading guilty to cocaine possession
Spokesman: US Rep. Trey Radel of Fla. will resign after pleading guilty to cocaine possession.
Radel, according to sources, first came on the radar of federal authorities when a suspected cocaine dealer under investigation by a joint Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI task force told agents that one of his customers was the Florida congressman.
According to prosecutors, confidential sources told authorities that Radel had purchased cocaine "on several occasions" for his own use, and "on occasion" would share that cocaine with others.
About 10 p.m. on Oct 29, Radel met a confidential source and an undercover law enforcement officer at a Washington restaurant, prosecutors said. At the restaurant, Radel told the two that he had cocaine back at his apartment and said they could go back and use some, according to testimony.
They declined the offer to share coke with Radel, but the undercover officer said he could sell 3.5 grams to Radel, prosecutors said. Outside the restaurant, Radel gave the undercover $260, and then inside a car, the undercover gave Radel the cocaine, according to prosecutors.
When Radel stepped outside of the car, federal authorities approached him. He dropped the bag of cocaine on the street. Radel admitted to authorities that he bought cocaine. Ultimately, he and authorities went back to his apartment, where Radel retrieved another vial of cocaine and gave it to authorities, they told the court.
"What did you believe you were purchasing?" the judge asked Radel.
"A drug. Cocaine. I plead guilty," the congressman replied.
Radel's lawyer David Schertler told the court, "He has a disease. ... He recognizes that this isn't a problem that is going away overnight."
DEA Special Agent in Charge Karl Colder said in a statement after Redal's court appearance: "We want young people to see the price people pay for drug abuse and trafficking in cases like this, so they will resolve to live drug-free lives."