News & Politics

Florida Congressman Trey Radel to Resign Following Cocaine Arrest

Radel pleaded guilty in November to buying cocaine from an undercover police officer.

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Representative Trey Radel, a Florida Republican who pleaded guilty last year to buying cocaine from an undercover police officer in Dupont Circle, will resign from Congress today.

The self-styled “hip-hop conservative,” elected in 2012, said following his court appearance that he planned to return to Congress.

Radel, 37, spent a month in rehab following his November 20 arraignment, but writes in a letter to House Speaker John A. Boehner that he concluded he cannot finish out his term. “While I have dealt with those issues on a personal level, it is my belief that professionally I cannot fully and effectively serve as a United States Representative to the place I love and call home, Southwest Florida,” Radel writes.

According to a statement of offense from federal prosecutors, Radel met with an acquaintance and an undercover cop on October 29 at a Dupont Circle restaurant and invited them back to his apartment to use cocaine. The officer said he had more cocaine to sell, and offered 3.5 grams for $250. Radel forked over $260, but did not get his $10 change as federal drug enforcement agents approached.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.