Rep. Trey Radel Gets Year Probation For Cocaine Possession

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla) was charged with cocaine possession back in October. Today he plead guilty and was sentenced to one year probation. Yes, one year probation for cocaine possession — yes, only one year probation. While this must be a shocker to some, this isn’t to me; nope, not one bit.

Radel was caught with 3.5 grams of cocaine was in his possession. Which isn’t anything like a mountain of coke Tony Montana shoved his nose into in the movie Scarface. It’s a small amount otherwise known on the streets as an eight-ball. But, I do know that if a regular guy like myself had maybe as little at one-eight of the amount of cocaine as Radel, my very black -unprivileged-ass would be going to jail or even a state prison for a very long time.

Hell, former DC Mayor Marion Barry (who is black) got six months in federal prison for smoking a “little speck” of crack cocaine back in 1990 in a DC hotel. Yep, if only the laws governing criminal punishment were applied equally irrespective of race and class, things might actually be nice.

This from ColorLines:

Last week, The Sentencing Project released a report on the impact of the federal prohibition of welfare benefitsfor those convicted of felony drug crimes. Called “A Lifetime of Punishment,” the report reminds us that as of 2011, three-quarters of states have a full or partial prohibition on TANF benefits and 34 states have a full or partial SNAP benefits prohibition for those with felony drug convictions. The federal welfare reform law allows states to opt out or modify the felony drug prohibtion. In Radel’s state of Florida, those found guilty of felony drug possession are allowed to collect TANF benefits, but not those convicted of felony drug manufacturing or distribution.

This federal ban, passed unanimously by both parties, has been in place in various states since 1996. The Sentencing Project’s analysis focused on women with felony drug convictions in the 12 states with a full ban on TANF benefits — Arkansas, Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, MIssissippi, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and West Virginia. They found that over 180,000 women in those states have been affected by the benefits ban since 1996 — 65,900 in Texas, and 58,100 in Georgia. Loss of SNAP eligibility is similar, says the report.

As with all things related to the so-called War on Drugs, the benefits ban has impacted black and Latino Americans more roughly than whites. As of 2011, 40.7 percent of state prisoners were African-Americans, and 21.1 percent were of Hispanic origin. The Sentencing Project’s report says that this translates to a racially disproportionate impact on who’s left out of welfare benefits in those states with the ban.

But if it were me, thanks to that felony conviction, it would be very hard for me to ever be gainfully employed. Which would suck because I wouldn’t be able to apply for government help in hopes of maybe using food stamps to have a meal. Which essentially would mean that I would have to sling rocks for a living because even with a wicked jump shot, paying college tuition would be really hard since my felony drug conviction would mean that student loans and financial aid would be a no-no.

Of course I’m lucky to already have an education, so at worst I may have just lost my job. But not Radel who has been on his job for 10 months. Unlike regular working folks, Radel gets to hit the clock like nothing happened. Radel will be going to rehab; and yes, I hope it works for him.

…. authorities said, during Radel’s short time in Washington, he had also made a connection to the city’s drug trade. Charging documents say he purchased cocaine in the nation’s capital on several occasions.

It was a remarkable double life, built in record time. Radel was on the radar of both the Capitol press corps and the Drug Enforcement Administration before Congress took its Thanksgiving break. (source: Washington Post)

There’s some irony to Radel’s drug conviction. Aside from so-sponsoring a bill to reform mandatory minimum sentencing, as recent as this past September, Rep. Rendel voted on a bill that would allow states to require drug testing for food stamp recipients. Why? Because everybody knows that most welfare recipients are actually drug addicted people of color too lazy to look for employment. I mean, who’s stupid enough to allow a forty-hour work week to get in the way of a perfectly good binge when there’s free government money being passed out like Turkey’s on Thanksgiving by Barack Obama.

That said, it’s perfectly understandable why Republican politicians like Radel would support such legislation. After all, with the drug addicted lazy-black-people out-of-the-way, it just makes more sense to provide a safety net for white folks who are just having a hard time trying to live in Obama’s cruel economy. You know, the 69% of the 44% of white folks in poverty on government assistance?

More from the Washington Post:

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla)
Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla)

On the evening of Oct. 29, authorities said, Radel and an acquaintance met an undercover agent at a restaurant in Dupont Circle about 10 p.m.

Radel invited the friend and agent to his home to use cocaine, according to court papers. The agent declined. But then they moved to the agent’s car, where Radel purchased 3.5 grams of cocaine. The sale price was $250, the documents said.

For some reason, the congressman overpaid. He handed over $260.

And that was it.

After the transaction, officers approached the car and Radel dropped the drugs on the street. Then, court papers said, he asked the officers to come to his apartment to discuss the incident.

When officers went to the residence, authorities said, they found a vial containing cocaine.

“I am so sorry to be here,” Radel said Wednesday. “I have let my constituents, my country and my family down. I want to come out of this stronger and I intend to do that, to be a better man, a better husband and continue serving this country.”

So, while it may sound egregiously hypocritical to some that a congressman who supports drug testing for food stamp recipients to be busted for cocaine possession. It’s important to be pleased that the good congressman isn’t going to jail, or that he will be unemployed as a result of his cocaine habit. Instead, Rep. Trey Radel will be allowed the privilege to continue serving the his constituents in spite of him being o the DEA radar having made several cocaine purchases in DC in the last 10 months according to charging papers.

But hey, congress needs a white GOP congressman who isn’t into sharing cocaine with po’ folk who in their infinite self-entitlement, continues to suck the country dry.

No word on if Radel will be required to pee in a cup to get a paycheck while he continues to serve in congress. Nor whether his paycheck and benefits will be slashed any time soon, like the 47 million Americans who will see their food stamps cut, thanks to Republicans like Radel.