Republican Congressman Opens Inquiry Into DEA's Inhumane Detention of College Student Daniel Chong

Representative Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) sent a letter to DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart asking the agency to comply with an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the detention of 23-year-old Daniel Chong. The UC San Diego engineering student was arrested during a drug raid, interrogated for four hours, then locked in a holding cell and left there for five days without food, water, or access to a toilet.

During those five days, Chong was forced to drink his own urine. Fearing that he would die in the cell, he broke the lens of his glasses and attempted to carve a message to his mother on his arm using a shard. Chong then tried to commit suicide by swallowing the broken pieces of his eye glasses. He was discovered unconscious and covered in feces, and admitted to a San Diego hospital suffering from dehydration, kidney failure, and a punctured esophagus.

“Reports of the incarceration of Daniel Chong...raise concerns about the Drug Enforcement Administration and its procedures for handling and monitoring individuals in custody,” reads Hunter’s letter, obtained by Reason.

“While it is appropriate that the DEA has since taken full responsibility for leaving Chong in a holding cell for five days, the fact that this incident even occurred suggests a breakdown in both procedure and oversight, specifically in the San Diego division.”

Hunter’s letter (which you can read here) goes on to say that while Chong’s detention may be “an isolated incident,” Hunter’s “concern is that this situation could also be a symptom of a bigger problem, with errors in procedure and oversight possibly extending to the Division’s law enforcement function.”

Hunter requests that Leonhart turn over all information regarding Chong’s case, processes and procedures for holding individuals, and information regarding any other problems or investigations in the DEA’s San Diego division.

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.) wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for “the results and the actions the department will take to make sure those responsible are held accountable and that no one in DEA custody will ever again be forced to endure such treatment,” according to the New York Daily News.  

Chong, who was hospitalized for five days after his detention, has filed suit against the DEA for $20 million, alleging that his detention constitutes torture.

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  • sarcasmic||

    You Sugar Free'd the linky to Hunter's letter.

  • ||

    Kind of surprising that Hunter, who campaigned for President in 2008 as a Meskin hater, would give a crap about this.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    This is his son, who succeeded him.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_D._Hunter

  • sloopyinca||

    Political dynasties: not just for Europeans and Norks anymore.

  • ||

    Congress seems to be turning on the DOJ at least, if not Obama himself. Maybe they sense weakness and vulnerability and are getting clear.

  • Pip||

    Getting rid of the DEA, the TSA and the EPA would be fantastic.

  • ||

    Or maybe it's an election year, and these are easy targets.

  • ||

    Isn't that exactly what I said?

  • ||

    Oh sorry, I had my decoder ring set to "gay dope fiends", not "honorable politician". My bad.

  • ||

    You got your decoder ring from a box of Special K, didn't you.

  • sloopyinca||

    Special K

    It may be a dick move, but that's what I'm referring to Ken Shultz as from now on.

  • l0b0t||

    Reading that made me laugh so hard coffee sprayed out of my nose.

  • ||

    Ken, that's perfect.

  • ||

    You got your decoder ring from a box of Special K, didn't you.

    No!

    ...it was Raisin Bran...

  • ||

    So...Special K with raisins. You realize that's even worse, right?

  • ||

    That sun promised to get me ahead by two whole scoops, Epi. I'd be no Libertarian if I passed up that kind of chance for promotion!

  • sarcasmic||

    Those aren't raisins.

  • ||

    ...

    I might be sick. Are they at least the shriveled hearts of deceased child miners?

  • sarcasmic||

    Rat turds.

  • amelia||

    But Special K is corn flakes.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Sounds like they need to be more careful about letting the imprisoned have eye glasses.

  • ||

    true ... officer safety and all

  • R C Dean||

    While it is appropriate that the DEA has since taken full responsibility

    WTF does this even mean? Was there any question that they weren't responsible?

    Better to say:

    "Of course, there is no question that the DEA is fully responsible for leaving Chong in a holding cell for five days. The fact that this incident even occurred leaves no doubt that there has been a breakdown in both procedure and oversight, specifically in the San Diego division. Heads will roll, and charges will be brought."

  • Paul.||

    "Of course, there is no question that the DEA is fully responsible for leaving Chong in a holding cell for five days. The fact that this incident even occurred leaves no doubt that there has been a breakdown in both procedure and oversight, specifically in the San Diego division. Heads will roll, and charges will be brought."

    ...for Daniel Chong to sit occupying a room at the DEA while paying no room and board is reprehensible. We will be prosecuting Mr. Chong to the fullest extent of the law. This behavior during the worst budget crunch since the great depression will not stand. We don't have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem. And people like Daniel Chong are the problem.

  • ||

    Daniel Chong to sit occupying a room at the DEA while paying no room and board is reprehensible.

    No wonder he didn't have any food or water! Typical free-riding scum.

  • Paul.||

    Probably some occupier engaging in a sit-in. He's lucky he wasn't tased.

  • ||

    Dear god, the hippie scum are getting into government buildings now? We need the Feds to lock all of them up, asap, before they blow something up.

  • Amakudari||

    I'm just going to assume it meant everyone there was fired. That's surely what happened.

  • ||

    Heads will roll

    The only suitable punishment for whoever is responsible for the negligent imprisonment of Chong is for Mads Mikkelson tie the DEA agents responsible to a rock and disembowel them by hand.

  • Paul.||

    Best movie hero ever. Not one line of dialog. Not. One.

  • ||

    Best movie hero, sure. Quite possibly the worst movie of all time.

  • ||

    I question your judgement sir. The protagonist is fucking Odhinn, or at least a Odhinnic analogy. He breaks a guy's neck by wrapping the rope tied to his own neck around that guys neck, taking a running start, and pulling the rope. He disembowels another guy WITH HIS BARE HAND.

    Sure, it got weird and psychedelic at the end, which is fitting for a film where the protagonist is heavily Odhinn inspired, as prophecy is strongly associated with the All-Father and prophecy has a strong tendency to be weird and psychedelic. Also, see aforementioned instances of erection inspiring graphic violence and countless others left unrecounted.

  • ||

    "Also, see aforementioned instances of erection inspiring graphic violence and countless others left unrecounted.

    I redact my statement.

  • Tulpa the White||

    They haven't "taken full responsibility" until everyone involved in this at any level is fired and everyone directly involved is sitting in a jail cell.

    Period.

  • Y||

    DEA response
    "Fuck you, that's why."

  • Bardas Phocas||

    The DEA has gone rogue - we need to shut it down.

    haha, I say that about every federal agency. I even say it about the state DMV.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  • Paul.||

    I heard this guy tell his story in an interview on NPR. Pretty ugly what happened.

    I hope he sues them for the DEA's entire 2013 budget, and Congress blocks new funding shutting down the agency.

    /endfantasy

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    "Strike the set!"

  • WarrenT||

    And nothing else happened.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I'm kind of surprised he wasn't disappeared. After all of this fallout, I suspect the next one they forget will be.

  • Soc Indv Sparky||

    The next one what?

  • johnl||

    Not to divert blame from the DEA. But why weren't any of the people he was arrested with looking for him once they were released? Why didn't anyone tell his parents he was arrested?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    He is in college.

    How often does anyone know anything about someone's parents?

    Do you think the other parties were aware that this situation was happening? For all they knew, he was being charged and held. Worrying about someone else is a low concern after the trauma of getting out of custody.

  • sloopyinca||

    Chong, who was hospitalized for five days after his detention, has filed suit against the DEA for $20 million, alleging that his detention constitutes torture.

    Seeing as our government, and especially our judiciary, thinks torture is perfectly fine, I don't think Mr. Chong is going about this the right way. He would be better served if he left out torture and said he felt bullied and a couple of guys called him a chink. In today's political climate, he's likely to end up with a better settlement that way.

  • Amakudari||

    I'm pretty sure the courts have ruled that torture is only permissible in cases of Islam or gay thoughts.

  • sloopyinca||

    DEA Statement: Sorry. We thought he was one of those Indonesians that's all muslimy and stuff.

    Problem solved.

  • Tulpa the White||

    sloopy, you got an example of the judiciary saying that torture is perfectly fine?

    Or are you just drama queening again.

  • califernian||

    We live in a police state.

  • ||

    so what happened to the mystery meth? sure it's not the most important part of this story, but i'm curious, dangit...

  • LTC John||

    "Chong, who was hospitalized for five days after his detention, has filed suit against the DEA for $20 million, alleging that his detention constitutes torture."

    Almost seems like attempted murder or such. Tar, feathers, branding seem appropriate.

  • elkh1||

    May be they just don't like Marion Barry's "dirty Asians" and let them rot in DEA hells.

  • elkh1||

    20 million

    The American taxpayers are likely to lose much more than that.

    On top of that, he should sue the DEA agents for attempted murder.

  • zamoracarl711||

    just as Bryan said I'm shocked that any one can earn $5316 in four weeks on the computer. have you read this site makecash16.cøm

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