College Student Daniel Chong Attempted Suicide After DEA Agents Locked Him in a Small Cell Without Food or Water for Five Days

Several hours after Obama’s drug czar told a room filled with Democratic power brokers at the Center for American Progress that the “war on drugs” was over, 23-year-old Daniel Chong sat down with NBC San Diego to recount the five days he spent handcuffed in a DEA holding cell without food or water after he was arrested at a "4/20 party." 

During that period, Chong, a student at UC San Diego, was forced to drink his own urine because his cries for help, for water, and for food went ignored, or perhaps unheard, by DEA agents. By the third day, Chong said he was hallucinating. He tried to kill himself by breaking the lens of his glasses, cutting his wrists, and then swallowing the shards.

More from NBC:

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 carving “Sorry mom,” on his wrists. 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.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chong and eight others were arrested at a party where DEA agents seized "18,000 ecstasy pills, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, a Russian rifle, two handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition." Seven arrestees were booked at the county jail, and one was released. Chong was left in his cell. 

A DEA official told NBC San Diego on Sunday, before Chong's name had been released, that the UC San Deigo student was locked up four days, not five, and said, “[W]e plan to thoroughly review both the events and detention procedures on April 21st and after." Chong will file his lawsuit against the agency on Wednesday. 

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  • SIV||

    In the cell, the detainee told authorities he found a white powdery substance, which he took, the statement said.

    That wasn't very smart.

  • JeremyR||

    Well, if you haven't eaten for days, you do get a little desperate to eat anything that looks edible...

  • fried wylie||

    "Ohhhh, sugar packet!....wtf, these artificial sweeteners aren't even trying anymore."

  • ||

    Most excellent, thanks for that.

  • Anacreon||

    Remember, Chong wasn't ever very smart. Cheech was the smart one.

  • deified||

    +420

  • jester||

    What was a white powdery substance doing there in the first place? That should be embarassing to law enforcement. Instead, it will miraculously be used against the defendant. TF.

  • fried wylie||

    "It is standard procedure to leave illegal drugs randomly lying around the station, and in holding cells."

  • DaveC||

    DEA agents don't wear swastikas. I'm stuck on trying to come up with other differences.

  • jester||

    Well stated!

  • Pi Guy||

    +1 Thread Gold

  • ||

    There's tons of differences! I mean . . . uh . . only a few can speak german . . uhmmm . . . their uniforms are more green than brown . . . they, uh . . .c'mon, help me out here.

  • CatoTheElder||

    They don't work for a regime headed by a megalomaniac with crazed theories about racial superiority. Their megalomaniacal leader is an equal-opportunity fascist?

  • ||

    "They don't work for a regime headed by a megalomaniac with crazed theories about racial superiority."

    Dont kid yourself.

  • A Serious Man||

    Daniel Chong spent 4 days in a DEA cell without charge, access to legal counsel, or even access to basic necessities like food and water. Why did this happen?

    A. For the children
    B. For the Greater Good
    C. Mistakes were made, but procedures were followed
    D. Because fuck you, that's why

  • jester||

    E. All of the above

    For the winner! Ding! Ding! Ding!

  • ||

    No, the answer is "fuck you, you don't need to know which one is the correct answer."

  • fried wylie||

    close.

    "Your inquest on the matter suggests criminal association with the suspect, you have the right to remain silent, etc..."

  • SugarFree||

    "It is not our policy to tell you the proper answer to any question we force you to answer."

  • Number 2||

    Because this is the Public Health Approach on Drugs in action!

    Had we treated Chong's alleged drug use as a "moral failing," i.e., as a crime, he'd be entitled to a panoply of constitutional protections.

    But Team Obama is advanced and caring enough to know that Chong is a slave to his own dopamine, and is therefore acting not out of personal choice, but out of an "addiction" he cannot control. Just ask Nora Volkow. He is a poor unfortunate who needs to be detained for his own medical good. Constitutional rights don't apply to him because he is incapable of exercising them because of his "medical" condition.

  • J_B||

    Sounds like a hell of an incentive to open fire when the DEA comes a knockin'.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Maybe we should declare the DEA a terrorist organization what gives us the right to assassinate on site.

  • ||

    Why oh why do the 50 states allow federal agents to do this sort of thing? Especially California.

  • ||

    i wonder is this like the first time anything like this as ever happened in the war on drugs? i dunno, w/ the booze & all, but it seems like this kind of thing happens pretty regular, but procedures are always followed...maybe it being on nbc is a good thing...not so good if procedures aren't radically changed/done away with & firings & criminal charges demanded by an outrages public, i s'pose...

  • Bill||

    Obviously, in this case they can't say that procedures were followed. You can't leave someone without water for 4 days. And as far as ingesting that powder, he was insane from thirst.

  • fried wylie||

    the procedure for "Losing track of detainees entirely" was followed to the letter.

  • ||

    *outraged, even...now i sound like i got a drunk french accent in my head...seriously though-

    His lawyer confirmed that Chong ingested a powdery substance found inside the cell. Later testing revealed the substance was methamphetamine.

    what does this even mean??

  • ||

    on a scale of:

    !)Chong smuggled it into the cell, in his ass or something

    @)it was left there unnoticed somehow by a former occupant of the cell

    #)it was given to a starving, dehydrated Chong, presumably intentionally, by whatever leos & dungeon staff had access to such things, presumably ....what? for fun? a science project? fuck?

  • Hogar the Mighty||

    You are the first person I have ever known to abuse the shift key that way.

  • ||

    drunkenly? i doubt that, viking-sounding individual!

  • Pi Guy||

    SB's just manifesting his (presumptuous- 1 kilopardon) anger in his own way, a victimless crime, I'd say.

    All of us here had rotten childhoods. Why else would we be libertarians?

  • fried wylie||

    You are the first person I have ever known to abuse the shift key that way.

    Honestly, I initially thought the chars were intentional, like when you type out "!(*@#!" for swears, as an example of how outragingly fuckedup was the scale under consideration.

    "On a scale from jesuschristmonkeyballs to WTFOMGBBQ!11oneoneone, how would you rate your stay at the DEA's award winning accomodations?"

  • widget||

    He tried to kill himself by breaking the lens of his glasses, cutting his wrists, and then swallowing the shards.

    Does the case of the State of New Jersey against Dharun Ravi on behalf of Tyler Clementi still ring a bell? Equal intentions for all, exceptions for some.

  • Lyle||

    This all seems hyperbolic.

  • ||

    I know, the drug war is so hyperbolic.

  • fried wylie||

    if we graphed the course of the war, on a time-by-severity basis, it would probably look pretty hyperbolic, with the current moment right before the apex of the curve.

    wait, am I thinking of a parabola instead? too early for maths.

  • strat||

    Depending on what they accidentally mix while raiding meth labs, it might even be hypergolic.

  • dmitchell||

    18,000 ecstasy pills, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms, a Russian rifle, two handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

    Good party.

  • Pi Guy||

    Looks as though the the End of Year Cop BBQ/Sock Hop is gonna be a good party as well.

  • ||

    "Chong will file his lawsuit against the agency on Wednesday. "

    The DEA, the same agency that facilitated the arming of Mexican drug cartels, is going to make a very sympathetic defendant......or not.
    It seems even cops should be able to figure out that when they run out of credibility in the public's eye they are gonna be fucked. There is just so much 'untouchableness' available to them and they are spending it like water.

  • Just Dropping By||

    It will get dismissed on qualified immunity grounds. DEA agents couldn't possibly have been expected to understand that leaving someone in a jail cell for four days with no food or water might violate their constitutional rights.

  • fried wylie||

    when they run out of credibility in the public's eye they are gonna be fucked

    Yes, the public's eye is gonna get fucked good and hard.

    oh, wait, that's not what you meant.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "You talk about whether they might have done it intentionally, No way because somebody's career is done over this," added Kirby.

    We'll see.

  • fried wylie||

    maybe, MAYBE, if this kid was some sort of native-chinese, blind, human rights advocate. then someone MIGHT lose a job over it.

  • SugarFree||

    Isn't attempting suicide a crime? Sounds like he should still be in that cell to me.

    The LAW is the LAW!

  • Y||

    The officers followed proper procedure.
    Nothing to see here.
    Do not question the procedures, they are always right.

  • TingoZing||

    Dude knows he is like totally rocking it. WOw.

    www.Privacy-Guys.tk

  • Invisible Finger||

    By the third day, Chong said he was hallucinating.

    So the DEA forced a guy to hallucinate because they didn't want him to hallucinate.

  • Angus MacAskill||

    They substituted an artificial high for a natural one. I'd call that a win.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Mike Riggs has indirectly cost my employer a few hundred dollars of lost productivity with this drug war shit. I'm going for a walk and when I come back I'm going to listen to some New Wave and things will be okay.

  • R C Dean||

    the UC San Deigo student was locked up four days, not five,

    Oh, well, that's alright then. Never mind.

  • ||

    And nothing else happened!

  • Killazontherun||

    This is the new Drug War, not the old, barbaric one. This one is humane, compassionate, progressive, based on the science, is results oriented, and puts rehabilitation over mere punishment. This addict was put in a rehabilitation cell for four days to dry out. It did him wonders. Lost fifteen pounds. On average he may live a decade longer if he keeps that weight lost. You people are heartless.

  • strat||

    Obviously, this is some usage of "science" with which I am heretofore unaccustomed. No, wait, actually the usage in Portal 2 might fit pretty well here.

  • Wilt Chamberlain||

    Holy shit, way to completely ruin my day. It's hard to believe this is America, not the Soviet union or Nazi Germany.

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