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Radel agreed to speak with agents on the night of the sting and invited them to his apartment, where he handed over a vial of drugs already in his possession. According to the prosecutor, the substance has not been analyzed, but a field test proved the vial contained cocaine.
If the same course of events had taken place back home in Florida, Radel would be facing felony charges, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $5,000 fine. He would also lose his right to vote.
After the hearing, a composed Radel exited the third-floor courtroom flanked by his attorney and a flock of reporters. He pushed his way into an emergency staircase, where he hustled downstairs and outside to a waiting vehicle without responding to any of the questions about treatment or possible resignation.
Radel, a former TV reporter, did pause briefly when a female journalist tripped and fell outside the courthouse. He turned, and walked back to see if she was all right before climbing into the back seat of his vehicle. The congressman never said a word.
Phone calls and emails to his office have not been returned.