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 Post subject: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-02 09:19pm
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Daniel Chong, the UC San Diego student who was left in a Drug Enforcement Administration holding cell for nearly five days, said the time spent in his cell was a life-altering experience.

The 23-year-old spoke with NBCSanDiego and said he was increasingly worried throughout the days he spent in a 5 ft. by 10 ft. cell, where he could not spread his arms out wide.

“They never came back, ignored all my cries and I still don’t know what happened,” he said. “I’m not sure how they could forget me.”

As NBCSanDiego was first to report Saturday, the DEA confirmed its agents were investigating an incident in which a suspect, arrested Saturday, April 21, was detained at their office for several days and allegedly forgotten about.

Chong said he was at a friend’s house in University City celebrating 4/20, a day many marijuana users set aside to smoke, when agents came inside and raided the residence. Chong was then taken to the DEA office in Kearny Mesa.

He said agents questioned him, and then told him he could go home. One agent even offered him a ride, Chong said. No criminal charges were filed against him.

But Chong did not go home that night. Instead, he was placed in a cell for five days without any human contact and was not given food or drink. In his desperation, he said he was forced to drink his own urine.

“I had to do what I had to do to survive….I hallucinated by the third day,” Chong said. “I was completely insane.”

Chong said he lost roughly 15 pounds during the time he was alone. His lawyer confirmed that Chong ingested a powdery substance found inside the cell. Later testing revealed the substance was methamphetamine.

After days of being ignored, Chong said he tried to take his own life by breaking the glass from his spectacles with his teeth and then attempting to carve “Sorry mom,” on his arm. He said nurses also found pieces of glass in his throat, which led him to believe he ingested the pieces purposefully.

Chong said he could hear DEA employees and people in neighboring cells. He screamed to let them know he was there, but no one replied. He kicked the door, but no one came to get him.
By the time DEA officers found Chong in his cell Wednesday morning Chong was completely incoherent, said Iredale.

“I didn’t think I would come out,” Chong said.

He said when employees discovered him in the cell that they looked confused and nervous. A DEA employee rode with him to the hospital, where they paid for Chong’s visit.

He spent three days in the intensive care unit at Sharp Hospital and his kidneys were close to failing.

Chong and his lawyer spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the claim they will file with the federal court system on Wednesday.

“He was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said his lawyer Gene Iredale, who compared Chong’s experience to the torture suffered by inmates at in the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq

The DEA has not apologized to Chong, said Iredale.

The incident also caused Chong to miss his midterms at UCSD. He said he does not know if he will return to school, as his perspective on life has changed since his isolation.

San Diego defense attorney Gretchen Von Helms said the victim could get millions if he files a lawsuit.

"In all my years of practice I've never heard of the DEA or any Federal government employee simply forgetting about someone that they have in their care," she said.

"There has to be repercussions if people do not follow the safety and the care when they have a human being in their custody."

The Drug Enforcement Administration has issued an apology to Chong.

DEA San Diego Acting Special Agent-In-Charge William R. Sherman says in a statement Wednesday that he was troubled by the treatment of Daniel Chong and extends his "deepest apologies" to him.

Sherman says the event is not indicative of the high standards to which he holds his employees. He says he has personally ordered an extensive review of his office's policies and procedures.

The DEA says it is investigating why he was not released. US Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Darrell Issa each asked for further investigation Wednesday

Copyright NBC San Diego / Associated Press

I hope he sues the ever living fuck out of the DEA



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-02 09:38pm
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hyoly shit - this is incompetence on a grand scale, or something so wierd it has to be true.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-02 09:42pm
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This is really horrifying. Being locked up in a cell is bad enough (especially if you don't feel like you belong there). Being locked up in a cell and forgotten for days is... well, beyond awful.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-02 11:37pm
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I've got family and friends to ask in this exact area, more specifically I've got a friend of a cousin who's not going to mention where she works at the moment. And from that place she might or might not work shit has gotten real. As in the arresting officer, the watch supervisors for that section of the detention area, the check in staff and of course possibly the warden (Even if that's not the official job title) have all already been taken aside and explained they might all be losing their jobs and face possible prosecution. There is daily head-counts where you check off names and faces to detention cells meaning a max of twenty four hours could go by before the supervisors get a notification there is someone in a cell who we don't know who they are who is this person. So in order for this to go on for five days requires that five times someone failed to check this prisoner in, as well there are isolation checks every few hours by the detention guys meaning again there was someone else who should have flagged, hey who is in this cell.

This is beyond messed up and with senators involved chances are high the peons are going to be burned at the stake. Luckily in this case they fucking deserve it if they are not logging detainees, not doing isolation checks and oh yes you can't throw someone in isolation without another set of paperwork since that's punishment detail and requires you to give a reason why to again the prisoner you never checked in.




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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-02 11:42pm
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Little bit more since I got a small clarification update, in order for this to have occurred unless there was deliberate malicious ignorance of Mr Chong then there were thirty eight possible times that the fact there was an unregistered prisoner in a cell flagged as empty as they also do evening roll call checks. So isolation checks every four hours to make sure he's not turn his own eyes out or some of the other fucked up things people do when locked in a room for days on end, the morning count and just before lights out count. Being in a DEA facility it's not like it's full prison so no yard time as stays there are meant to be temporary but similar regulations apply.




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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-02 11:43pm
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Well, the DEA has now apologized. It seems quite likely people will be fired over this.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 12:57am
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People should be prosecuted for this, if there's any justice.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 08:51am
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Alyeska wrote:
Well, the DEA has now apologized. It seems quite likely people will be fired over this.


People should be in jail over this. If we had left a POW like this, we'd be in Club Ed so fast our boots would smoke.

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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 08:54am
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What is Club Ed?



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 08:57am
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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 09:39am
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Yeah also called the stockade, though usually amongst older vets.

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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 03:21pm
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As utterly horrible as this is, I do have to voice my approval of the DEA higher-ups in this instance. It's all too rare to see an organization willing to own its own misdeeds. I was expecting to see the typical Armor of Lawyers at the end of the article, but instead they owned up to the fact that the incident happened and are apparently dusting off the crucifixion nails for the perpetrators. None of this 'no comment due to ongoing investigation' garbage, but instead a simple 'oh dear sweet fuck, we're sorry...'



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 04:46pm
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The guy is suing for $20M. I don't blame him; he was that close to death.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 04:53pm
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White Haven wrote:
As utterly horrible as this is, I do have to voice my approval of the DEA higher-ups in this instance. It's all too rare to see an organization willing to own its own misdeeds. I was expecting to see the typical Armor of Lawyers at the end of the article, but instead they owned up to the fact that the incident happened and are apparently dusting off the crucifixion nails for the perpetrators. None of this 'no comment due to ongoing investigation' garbage, but instead a simple 'oh dear sweet fuck, we're sorry...'


There's none of this "no comment due to ongoing investigation" because it is quite clear what took place because this incident happened inside a controlled area. Things that happen out in the field are entirely different.

Anyway, I hope Chong gets justice and compensation.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 06:13pm
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Dalton wrote:
The guy is suing for $20M. I don't blame him; he was that close to death.


Not only close to death, but he could easily have long term kidney damage from this with all the problems and expenses that brings. Hopefully the DEA will realize how retarded this was and cut him a deal rather then waste even more taxpayer money fighting a loosing battle in court.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 09:48pm
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The DEA almost shows too much incompetence for this story to be believed. If their prisoner accountability is that lax they should just be glad none of their prisoners shanked one of their officers without anyone knowing or something like that. I don't know if I buy that the victim ate some meth that happened to be laying around his cell, but I suppose anything is possible given the agreed upon facts here.

On another note the mouth breathers elsewhere on the internet are coming out of the wood work on this one saying, among other things, "that worthless mother fucker deserved it for hanging out in a drug den." Other gems include the victim should grow a spine for being in solitary confinement with no supplies for "only" five days.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 10:05pm
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the meth seemed odd to me to.

it did cross my mind that someone was trying to set him up, but clearly they forgot to actually check in on him to make the 'catch'.

and it'd be an incredibly stupid way of doing it when planting the drugs on him would have been much less risk.

the guy did try to commit suicide though, so i guess chewing random powder in the hope you OD might make sense.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 10:22pm
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madd0ct0r wrote:
the meth seemed odd to me to.

it did cross my mind that someone was trying to set him up, but clearly they forgot to actually check in on him to make the 'catch'.

and it'd be an incredibly stupid way of doing it when planting the drugs on him would have been much less risk.

the guy did try to commit suicide though, so i guess chewing random powder in the hope you OD might make sense.


Or because you are so hungry you might be willing to eat just about anything.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-03 10:28pm
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That's what I assumed, he'd have eaten anything out of desperation to fill his belly, this is hardly unheard of and you'd have no clear way of knowing what the powder was. People will eat sand and dirt when starving. Random meth powder being in a DEA holding cell is completely plausible, likely dumped by someone who was put in the cell and still had it on them.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-04 02:26pm
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The cell also apparently had no toilet, and he was handcuffed the entire time. I'm guessing his hands must have been cuffed in front of him or he was able wriggle his cuffed hands under his legs because I don't see how you could drink your own piss with your hands behind your back.

He was probably certain he was going to die in there. I hope he gets every cent of that $20 million and that the emotional trauma doesn't haunt him for the rest of his life, never mind the physical trauma.

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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-04 04:59pm
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The idiots who say the guy's a pansy for "whining" after "only" five days of solitary confinement baffle me. Solitary confinement is the punishment for the roughest prisoners in all prisons everywhere, and solitary confinement in a box where you can't even take two paces is a known way to break prisoners, used extensively throughout history by soft and gentle people like, say, the KGB.

It's right there with sleep deprivation and waterboarding as the top three all-time favorite methods of reducing grown men into shivering wrecks.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-04 05:11pm
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They're ignorant dimwits who don't read, if they do read they don't believe what they read, and have an utterly stupid and ridiculous sense of what they could endure that is based on no experience whatsoever.

They're no different from the blowhards who think waterboarding isn't torture; the psychology is the same- they can't imagine how "torture" can mean anything other than "inflicting pain."



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-04 06:55pm
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They also seem to be overlooking the "nothing to drink or eat for five days" part, which is the absolute worst part. A lot of people would die from that.

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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-04 07:19pm
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Just read the article and I'm stunned. I'm also glad that the DEA is at least taking responsobility for this fuck-up.



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 Post subject: Re: DEA forgets man, left to rot in a holding cell for days PostPosted: 2012-05-04 07:43pm
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PeZook wrote:
The idiots who say the guy's a pansy for "whining" after "only" five days of solitary confinement baffle me. Solitary confinement is the punishment for the roughest prisoners in all prisons everywhere, and solitary confinement in a box where you can't even take two paces is a known way to break prisoners, used extensively throughout history by soft and gentle people like, say, the KGB.

It's right there with sleep deprivation and waterboarding as the top three all-time favorite methods of reducing grown men into shivering wrecks.


I don't mean to imply that you don't realize any of this, but it's not enough to just call it solitary confinement, as unpleasant as five days of that would be. Dying of dehydration is an incredibly unpleasant way to go, never mind dying of dehydration all alone in a small room, covered in urine with shards of glass stuck in your throat and lungs, and of course having no way of knowing if anyone would ever find you before you were dead. I keep thinking of being in that situation, feeling like I was going to die knowing that I wouldn't get to say goodbye to my girlfriend or my family, and knowing that it wasn't some psychotics or terrorists responsible but my own damn government. Speaking personally, that would leave a serious mental scar. Anyone who thinks that's a walk in the park needs some reality slapped into them, hard.

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