to USA Today, in a sting operation that stemmed from a broader FBI and DEA investigation of a
major drug trafficking organization in the nation's capital, Tea Party Congressman (Rep. Trey Radel from Florida) was caught
in the federal net.
The targets of the federal investigation were dealers and high-level people in a drug organization, not buyers and users. But a dealer who was arrested last month told federal agents that one of his customers was a Congressman. So federal agents had set up the sting operation.
The drug dealer (working with federal agents) set up a "buy" on Oct. 29th when Radel purchased cocaine. FBI agents didn't arrest him on the spot, but later went to Radel's apartment, where they briefly detained him.
Then Radel hired a defense attorney who negotiated charges with a prosecutor. The charging documents from the U.S. attorney's office had said that Radel did "unlawfully, knowingly and intentionally" possess "a quantity of cocaine." MSNBC reported today that is was 3.5 grams of cocaine for $265.00.
The charge against Radel was only for a "misdemeanor", but it carried a potential maximum of 6 months in prison. Law enforcement agents had never handcuffed Radel or taken him to jail (because he's "special").
Today CNN reported that the presiding judge only gave Radel one year of probation --- that's all --- then Radel most likely returned back to work to vote for cutting food stamps again. Trey Radel had voted NO to food stamps 3 times.
Radel also voted YES for a House bill that would have required all recipients of food stamps to undergo drug testing --- even though several studies have already shown that the recipients of food stamps had a lesser degree of drug use than did the general population (In an interview today, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also pointed this out this hypocrisy of drug testing the poor.)
Also, Radel reportedly said he opposed legalizing marijuana in a debate back in April. Earlier this year (before his arrest for possessing cocaine) Radel had said that he never heard of the government run "growhouse" at the University of Mississippi, or the federal program that supplies four people with 300 joints every month. Randel had said:
"The unfortunate part is, in Washington there's not a whole lot more that's shocking when it comes to spending and misspending. Why are we still paying this person to smoke weed, everyday?"
Although apparently, it's OK for taxpayers to pay members of Congress $174,000 a year to buy and snort cocaine.
But Radel can surely appreciate the importance of the nuance on drug policy as it exists now. He is lucky he was not arrested on cocaine possession in Florida, as one Miami Herald reporter pointed out, where it’s a felony. That would have cost him his right to vote against food stamps for the poor.
In the statement from Congressman Radel's office, he said he struggles "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." He also said that the
incident had been a "blessing in disguise" because [only] now can he seek out help.
Now we know who's REALLY been doing all the drugs --- and because Congressman Radel blamed his drug use on alcoholism, he's a damn drunk too! (Isn't that what the GOP and Tea Party have been calling the unemployed for the past 5 years?)
It had already been predicted that Radel wouldn't be going to jail --- not like a black man would if he were caught with a bag of weed (because, not only is Radel "special", he's also white.)
Fox News reports, "A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement Tuesday the incident was between Radel, his family and his constituents, but that "members of Congress should be held to the highest standards." (John Boehner is another drunk in Congress.)
But, evidently members of Congress are not held to the same standards as regular folks --- who would have at the VERY LEAST been handcuffed, put into the back of a police car, finger printed and drug-tested at the local police station, and put into a stinking holding cell for several hours before finally being allowed to pay bail.
I told you ---- we should "means test" members of Congress before they collect their government
When members of Congress are financially supporting people who run
"Breaking Bad" drug operations, why aren't THEY held to the
same standards as everyone else?
Yeah, I know --- maybe Trey Radel isn't a crack head, or even a drug addict --- maybe that 3.5 grams of cocaine wasn't just for him, and he was also buying for his Congressional friends --- and maybe Radel's just a your everyday "recreational user" --- but still --- the damn hypocrisy of these assholes.
I'm surprised though, that the media hasn't given this story of a sitting U.S. Congressman the same attention as they do to a city mayor in Canada.