U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, a tea party freshman lawmaker from Fort Myers, Fla., arrested on Oct. 29 for cocaine possession in Washington, D.C., was busted after his alleged dealer, arrested in a separate case, led authorities to the congressman, the Miami Herald reported. Radel, 37, who faces a maximum of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, was charged Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court with misdemeanor cocaine possession and was scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.
An accused drug dealer tipped the DEA that a client was a congressman, officials said. Radel then allegedly bought cocaine from an undercover agent in Washington's Dupont Circle neighborhood. Afterward, authorities visited the congressman's apartment and informed him he would be charged with misdemeanor cocaine possession. Radel’s alleged crime is a felony in Florida, and Radel would have lost his voting and other civil rights had he been convicted in state court.