DEA

Leaving a Guy Imprisoned for Five Days Without Food, Water Not Enough to Get Fired from DEA

Wrists are barely even slapped.

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Daniel Chong, probably scarred for life.
YouTube

Can we hire Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) head Michele Leonhart back just to fire her again? Technically she's resigning, but everybody knows she's being forced out because her agency had become too lawless, even in an administration that seems to believe in few checks on executive power.

Here's the latest example: Back in 2012, the DEA snatched up Daniel Chong near San Diego in a marijuana-related raid (it was April 20) of a friend's home. Chong was not charged with any crime at the time. Instead, he was forgotten entirely. The problem was that Chong was forgotten while he was handcuffed in a DEA holding cell with no food and water. For five days.

Chong survived, barely. His story became national news and he eventually extracted a $4.1 million settlement from the government. The story drew outrage at the time. The Los Angeles Times tracked down a letter from the Department of Justice to Congress that may inspire a new round of anger. Nobody was fired for what happened to Chong. They were barely punished at all:

The Department of Justice letter said that DEA officials forwarded a report on the incident to a disciplinary board, the Board of Professional Conduct, without conducting its own investigation. The board issued four reprimands to DEA agents and a suspension without pay for five days to another. The supervisor in charge at the time was given a seven-day suspension.

Well, at least it was without pay. Chong had to drink his own urine to survive and attempted to take his own life by cutting himself with the broken lenses of his glasses. He consumed a powdery substance he found in the cell, which turned out to be meth. (what kind of holding cell was this, anyway?)

On his way out, ex-Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a review of DEA disciplinary procedures:

"The Department of Justice has serious concerns about the adequacy of the discipline that DEA imposed on its employees," in the Chong case, said Patrick Rodenbush, a Department of Justice spokesman, in a statement.

He said that Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility "will make recommendations on how to improve the investigative and disciplinary processes for all allegations of misconduct at DEA."

Recommendations will be made! Clearly the problem is that the DEA didn't know how to discipline itself. I can practically hear those DEA agents cleaning up their acts right now.

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  1. With much regret, mistakes were made.

    1. Things happened. Words were said.

      1. Urine was drank.

        1. I hear the Yellow Drank is good stuff.

    2. Yes, how dare they be sent on no-pay-vacay!

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  2. The board issued four reprimands to DEA agents and a suspension without pay for five days to another.

    Pay is pretty much the same as food and water, right?

    1. I’m pretty sure pay tastes better than your own urine – haven’t tired it myself, but I feel pretty confident in that statement.

      1. Well taste some pay and get back to us.

      2. I have heard you can ‘recycle’ urine twice before it becomes toxic – if your kidneys are OK it is pretty aseptic stuff, since they are good filters.

        I, too, have felt no need to experiment, and hope never to come to such a pass.

        1. It stands to reason. Urine is what your kidneys extracted. Since your kidneys are a kind of filter for toxins… yeah, eventually it’ll be 100% toxin.

  3. Well, thank goodness these government employees don’t have this unfortunate episode hanging over their heads any more. What pressure. It must have been horrible!

    That meth addict Chong is lucky to have made it for what he put these guys through!

  4. Chong? Seriously?

  5. Not to belittle Chong’s misfortune, but…

    $4 mil for five days alone in a cell? Would you take that bet?

    1. My dear, i earnd $34166.67 working frmo prison. I could not believe it at first but it is real! Just viist this site http://www.dea.gov

    2. As bad as it is that the DEA did that to him, and as bad as it is that the money came from the taxpayers, that IS a pretty sweet deal for this guy.

      Even if he just stuck that 4 million in a bank account, think about the interest from that. He’s set for life. If he puts it into some blue chip stocks, he could easily spend the rest of his life sipping champagne by the pool.

      1. sipping champagne by the pool.

        Unless he’s acquired new tastes…

        1. A taste for vengeance? I’ve no doubt that here are certain kinds of people who will cause harm or kill others for far less than four million dollars.

        2. Sounds like the start of a horror movie. He develops an insatiable hunger for bodily fluids and proceeds to hunt down and devour the DEA agents responsible for his ordeal.

          1. I’d watch that.

            1. I’d make the popcorn

      2. Even if he just stuck that 4 million in a bank account, think about the interest from that.

        at current rates, the interest amounts to -$80,000.

      3. Nah. There’s a solution to this. Asset freezing. Forfeiture. Etc. He’s nowhere near set for life. Nor is anyone else.

    3. Followed by a couple of days to weeks in the hospital recovering from nearly dying

  6. And nobody outside this circle will care because Chong is not the right kind of minority.

    1. They thought they were feeding him but it turns out the other Asian prisoner was getting 6 meals a day. So hard to tell them apart, you know.

      1. Was it cuttlefish or vanilla paste?

        1. At least he wasn’t the “middle piece,” FM.

        2. CUTTREFISH!!!!

          *vomits*

  7. Accountability. What a quaint little concept you’ve discovered.

  8. How do you “forget” about someone you locked up? Was he just thrown in the in that one basement closet that no one ever checks? There was no one around to hear his cries for help? No camera monitoring that cell?

    1. They go down into the basement and masturbate to the cries for help.

      1. I can’t believe I just LOLed

        1. What the heck, I keep LOL to video of those HS performers who fell into the orchestra pit.

    2. It’s an oubliette. Labyrinth is full of ’em.

      1. Don’t act like you know what an oubliette is!

      2. Those responsible should be hung upside down over the Bog of Eternal Stench for whatever period of time Mr. Chong deems appropriate.

      3. It really is a place you put people to forget about them!

        How about that?

        1. Is that anything like a sky cell?

          1. You’re in luck–I’ve seen just far enough into GoT to know what that is.

            Still, not a huge problem if you’re a mutant senator

            Oh wait…

          2. More like the Black Cells in the Red Keep.

    3. Wasn’t it over a Labor Day weekend? There was probably nobody at the station.

    4. This is proof that in their world, there are only cops & criminals. If you’re not either one, you don’t exist.

  9. Maybe six days would’a done it, ya think?

  10. I posted this in the AM Links.

    The DEA can plant drugs in your vehicle, get it shot up by drug cartels, have your life threatened by Zetas, and get one of your employees killed, and it is all perfectly acceptable, says the court.

    So when the Zetas massacre your family and business, the government says that agency policy protects them and the courts are a-okay with that excuse.

    1. Do you want vigilantes? Because this is how you get vigilantes.

      1. Maybe I just want to watch the world burn…

      2. This is something I was beginning to discuss with SugarFree on another thread.

        What surprises me is that a person who has survived neglect such as Mr. Chong has, or survived severe police brutality which did not leave them physically or mentally incapable, has not descended into vengeance. Or that person’s family member(s).

        I’m not advocating vengeance at all, just expressing my surprise.

        1. I’m sure that when you hear about some cop being “randomly killed by a career criminal,” that more often than not it’s revenge for an injustice perpetrated by the cop, and not random at all.

          Likewise when a cop is killed in a struggle, as far as I’m concerned it’s justified self defense unless it can be proven otherwise.

          Then again I’m just a bigot who assumes that all cops are bad people (only because, with one exception, every interaction I’ve had with cops has suggested that to be true).

          1. There’s plenty more than just anecdotal evidence to support ‘universal shitbag cop theory’.

        2. Vengeance would be stupid – they have more guns than you do.

          1. There is a such thing as a perfect crime. Thing is, it requires extensive planning, and you can’t tell a soul. You have to have an alibi to tell your friends and family so they won’t suspect you. If you leave no evidence linking you to the crime, and no reason for anyone you know to suspect you did it, then you could get away with it. But what’s the fun in revenge if you can’t brag about it?

            1. “But what’s the fun in revenge if you can’t brag about it?”

              Watching your enemies quiver in fear scratches an awfully big itch.

  11. If Drug Enforcement Agency agents are held responsible for their actions, the narcoterroristas will win.

  12. On his way out, AG Eric Holder was concerned about the disciplinary action inflicted on the guilty agents. He thought it was much too harsh.

  13. “The Department of Justice has serious concerns about the adequacy of the discipline that DEA imposed on its employees,”
    .
    “I hate to judge before all the facts are in, Mister President, but it’s beginning to look as if General Ripper may have exceeded his authority.”

  14. If the DEA won’t fire these guys, nothing stops Congress from impeaching the hell out of them, convicting them, and barring them from federal service for the rest of their lives. Not that this will happen.

    1. I was watching a sixties or seventies era cop movie in which a cop commented that he didn’t want to get fired (for misconduct) and lose his pension when he was so close to retirement. Oh, those quaint days of yesteryear.

    2. Congress can’t impeach careerists, Eddie, only appointees. Ultimately, the buck stops with the president on this.

      1. “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

        1. Parliament had an Anglican priest (in those days basically low-level civil servants) impeached and convicted for sedition. Low-level bureaucrats in the federal government are the U.S. equivalent.

  15. Agents went home.

  16. #WronglyimprisonedandleftfordeadLivesMatter!

  17. And magazine called Reason insists there’s no such thing as “stranger danger”.

    Still waiting for a retraction on that article.

    1. I think Reason has already made the point that an unwatched child is more likely to be kidnapped by a government agent than by a random stranger.

      1. Aren’t most children likely to be snatched by one of their parents?

        1. The vast, vast majority of children who go missing run away. Of those that are actually kidnapped, parents do most of that. Government agents do a lot of it. “Strangers” do very little of it.

        2. Read my sentence again.

  18. “He consumed a powdery substance he found in the cell, which turned out to be meth. (what kind of holding cell was this, anyway?)”

    I can’t stop laughing.

    1. See!!!? He was a druggie after all!!

      ~DEA (and/or proggies victim blamer)

  19. In what other line of work could you cost your employer $4+ million and still keep your job?

    I mean, I know that if I cost my firm $4 million in a malpractice settlement, I’d pretty much be fired immediately, and I’d be more or less blacklisted from any other legal jobs.

    1. That’s what you get for working in the private sector, friend

    2. In what other line of work could you cost your employer $4+ million and still keep your job?

      Fuck the civil settlement. In what other line of work could you kidnap someone, falsely imprison them and then quite nearly kill them without being prosecuted as a criminal?

  20. In what other line of work could you cost your employer $4+ million and still keep your job?

    Slack was cut.

  21. Nobody was fired for what happened to Chong. They were barely punished at all

    The only way you can lose your job in government is if:
    a) You commit a heinous crime, like talking trash about the president; or,
    b) You die.

    1. c) Don’t show up for work. Whether you actually do any work is irrelevant, but they do insist that you show up.

  22. My sister makes $75 every hour on the laptop . She has been laid off for seven months but last month her pay check was $18875 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    Look At This. ????????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  23. You’re not a criminal, so you don’t count.

  24. DEA – poster child for the entire Federal Government.

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