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Real-Life ‘House Of Cards’ Scandal: Florida Congressman Charged With Cocaine Possession

U.S. Rep. Trey Radel

Nov. 19 2013, Published 5:43 p.m. ET

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A first-term Florida congressman has been swept up in scandal after he was charged with misdemeanor cocaine possession in Washington D.C.

Rep. Trey Radel, a Republican, faces arraignment on Wednesday.

It’s emerged that he was arrested on Oct. 29 for alleged possession of cocaine, according to District of Columbia Superior Court records. The charge carries a statutory maximum sentence of 180 days of imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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The 37-year-old politician was elected in 2012.

Radel released the following statement on Tuesday:

"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.

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.

However, this unfortunate event does have a positive side. It offers me an opportunity to seek treatment and counseling. 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.

Please keep my family in your prayers.”

Radel is a former actor, comedian and conservative media personality.

The story is a twist of fate on Netflix's much lauded House of Cards series, which had the character of congressman Peter Russo, a cocaine-snorting alcoholic.

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