Rep. Trey Radel to return to Congress after cocaine-possession charges

Trey Radel at a news conference at the Capitol, May 22, 2013.
Trey Radel at a news conference at the Capitol, May 22, 2013.

Florida's Rep. Trey Radel planned to return to Congress on Tuesday after he took a leave of absence last November for pleading guilty to cocaine possession.

Police arrested the first-term Republican congressman on Oct. 29, 2013 in Washington, DC, for buying 3.5 grams of cocaine from an undercover agent. After his arrest, he entered drug rehabilitation, took a leave of absence, and said he would donate his salary to charity while in treatment.

A judge sentenced the 37-year-old to a year of probation, and he consequently attended rehabilitation in Florida.

“I hit a bottom, and I realize I need help,” Radel said last year, apologizing in court.

Government agents who established the sting had obtained Radel’s name during a larger cocaine trafficking investigation. He had been a regular cocaine user and buyer.

Radel hasn't announced yet if he will run for reelection. But leaders called on him to resign. Additionally, a super PAC recently raised $1 million from two donors to challenge the congressman.

Before running for Congress, Radel operated a media relations company and worked as a journalist. He is a self-described "hip-hop conservative" and "lover of liberty."