DEA Agents Who Arrested California Man On Minor Pot Charge and Then Left Him In Cell Without Light, Water, or Food For Days . . . Given Only Reprimands After Almost Killing Him

141px-DEA_badge_CThe Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is infamous for stacking charges on defendants and arresting individuals for seemingly minor possessions. However, when it comes to its own agents, there appears to be an endless level of leniency. In 2012, DEA carried out a raid on a home and arrested a group of young people who were smoking marijuana. One was Daniel Chong. Despite the minor violation, Chong was arrested and interrogated. He was told that he would be released but DEA agents simply forgot about him and left him in a cell for five days without food or water. At one point, as the 23-year-old cried and begged for help, someone with the DEA came in and turned off the light in his cell to leave him in the dark. He was given no food or water. Someone was charged, right? Someone was fired, right? No, the DEA has decided that a few reprimands and short suspensions is fine for starving and almost killing Chong.


I earlier wrote a column on how the U.S. government seems to be gradually adopting the legal standards of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. This case seem to fit that storyline all too neatly.

Even the Justice Department has questioned “the DEA’s failure to impose significant discipline on these employees.”

Chong was never charged with a crime and ultimately received a $4.1-million settlement.

The three DEA agents and supervisor responsible will continue to work for the government even though they almost killed Chong who was hospitalized for days after his ordeal. Four reprimands were issued and the supervisor was given a seven-day suspension. Case closed.

Source: LA Times

210 thoughts on “DEA Agents Who Arrested California Man On Minor Pot Charge and Then Left Him In Cell Without Light, Water, or Food For Days . . . Given Only Reprimands After Almost Killing Him”

  1. Dusty @ 2:26. Agree.

    Agree absolutely about a national police force.

    Maybe once pot is legal throughout the country, some of the DEA’s power will be diluted.

    Who supports the DEA? I think mostly Republicans support the DEA – the law and order thing. I think you need a Republican to take on the DEA – just like you needed a Nixon to open up China.

  2. “Most people will see a medical practitioner or be under control of a medical practitioner (including dentists) many MANY times during their life. Thereby increasing the probability of an incident.”

    Correct DBQ, finally. So it’s ridiculous to compare the numbers of mistakes from nurses to “mistakes” from cops. There is no comparison. The truth does slop out occasionally.

  3. @ Wade

    Darren’s statistics are not ridiculous when you consider that people are more likely to have contact with medical professionals during their lifetime than they are with the police.

    Most people can go their entire life without having any contact whatsoever with law enforcement.

    Most people will see a medical practitioner or be under control of a medical practitioner (including dentists) many MANY times during their life. Thereby increasing the probability of an incident.

    Darren’s statistic is a mere function of math, numbers, size samples and probabilities. There is no emotion in MATH.

  4. “Except for the anal captivity examination, I don’t think any medical professional can do any of the stuff that cops can do.”

    Wade, that made me chuckle. “Your anus is under arrest!”

  5. @ Wade

    Most all the ‘cop culture’ is formed at the local level. DEA culture goes higher, but Obama and Holder are hardly making the culture

    This is true. I don’t think we can/should ‘blame’ them for the DEA’s defects since the DEA has had problems for a very long time. However as chief officers of the land Obama and Holder do have some responsibility in the DEA to make some corrections or efforts at correction.

    It is like stepping into a dysfunctional company as a new CEO. You aren’t responsible for the past, but you are responsible for the guidance of your company going forward. Sometimes it takes a very long time to see changes made take effect.

    Plus, as noted, when an organization like the DEA or other governmental agency gets larger, it becomes harder to control. They become an entity unto themselves and lose accountability at either the local level or even on a national level. Out of control and unaccountable agencies elected by no one.

    This is why the thought of a national police force is frightening to me. You think the local departments are out of control now? Wait until we have a national police force that even the Government itself cannot hold accountable.

  6. A person in their lifetime is between 700 and 1,000 times more likely to be injured or die as the result of an action or omission made by a medical professional or its diagnostic or treatment equipment or medication.

    What a ridiculous argument!

    Everybody immediately cancel your doctor appointments, your kids vaccinations, your chemo, your dad’s blood pressure medicine.

    Darren, cops run around with guns. They can stop citizens from going about their business. They can put their hands on them. They can examine their anal cavities. They can handcuff citizens and take them into custody. They can impound their car. They can break into their homes. They can shoot grenades into a baby’s bed and refuse to pay the medical bills.

    Except for the anal captivity examination, I don’t think any medical professional can do any of the stuff that cops can do.

  7. Nursing homes and hospitals are under scrutiny from the State and Feds who conduct unanounced inspections, yet because of chronic understaffing, which results in rushed and overworked nurses, mistakes do happen. To what do cops attribute their “mistakes”?

  8. Dusty at 1:43.

    I agree.

    I also agree with Haz at 10:57.

    Most all the ‘cop culture’ is formed at the local level. DEA culture goes higher, but Obama and Holder are hardly making the culture. That was set in motion with the War on Drugs. Probably damn hard to rein those guys in without setting off a civil war.

    Consider how the cops act when they think they are not getting the proper respect. Look how the NYC cops shut down when DeBlascio didn’t pay the proper respect. It didn’t go on too long – they were employed in a liberal city and many citizens did not like the cop shutdown. That wouldn’t be the case if Obama went to ‘war’ with the DEA.

  9. Self reported data is always suspect. Until the time that police departments provide accurate data, we cannot accurately compare professions as to number of cases of misconduct, neglect or abuse.

  10. Here is the nature of the issues

    Law enforcement officers will as a consequence inherent in their duties use force against individuals to overcome resistance, protect themselves, or others and in some cases serve the judicial process.

    A person in their lifetime is between 700 and 1,000 times more likely to be injured or die as the result of an action or omission made by a medical professional or its diagnostic or treatment equipment or medication.

    Presently there are some that have the preconception that police are killers because of the number of individual cases of law enforcement officers committing felony assaults on a wide scale basis. The statistics do not show that to be the case. Moreover, drunk and reckless drivers kill approximately 20,000 per year yet the public does not currently express as much outrage as it has in the past, mostly during the 1990’s as it does today.

  11. Hmmm.

    Do We Decimals???
    An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

    Oh, there once was a very bad nurse!
    Who with “decimals”, was even worse!
    “Point O Eight Atrovent”
    Came out 80 percent,
    And the patient went home in a hearse!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  12. http://theconsumervoice.org/uploads/files/issues/Consumer-Fact-Sheet-Nursing-Home-Staffing.pdf

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/is-your-loved-ones-nursing-home-chronically-understaffed

    “In the last decade alone there has been a multitude of court cases linking nursing home understaffing to poor patient care, but what’s more troubling is that nursing home management may actually be choosing to remain understaffed.

    In “The Danger of Understaffing,” attorney Mark Kosieradzki says pressure from corporate owners has forced some nursing home managers to keep their facilities “chronically understaffed” as a means to quell budget problems. Such decisions are in blatant disregard of the requirements outlined in the 1987 Federal Nursing Home Reform Act, which states that nursing homes are expected to “attain or maintain thehighest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.” This means that, whether intentional or not, understaffing puts the health of nursing home residents at risk.”

  13. Just remember healthcare workers who are chronically understaffed make MORE mistakes. If you think the “output” is in the hands of the staff, not the administration who are the ones who control nurse / patient ratios, you don’t understand anything about healthcare facilities.

  14. Does she therefore believe that street cops ARE the problem?

    Some of them are part of the problem. Some of the problem is in the administrative level and lack of oversight. Some of the problem is in the Union protectionism.

    It is multi faceted and can’t be pinned on one part of the whole. The world is not a black and white construct where all the good is on one side and all the bad is on the other. To look at the world or anything is way is to have the mind of a child and the inability to logically reason.

    It IS the grunts, or more correctly the rank and file employees, who as a whole control the output of the business or organization. One store or one service organization can be exemplary, efficient and a pleasure to deal with. The same store or organization can be a nightmare in another location. The only difference is the make up of the staff and the amount of latitude to be bad or good that they get from their immediate supervisors.

    My McDonald’s example stands, but I could extrapolate it to our local law enforcement agency compared to one in a similar sized location elsewhere. It is the staffing and how they operate that makes the difference in the quality of the output of the product of the organization.

  15. Ahhhh. Dusty feels it is the grunts that run the organization.

    This is an interesting position in view of the discussion of ‘bad cops’. Does she therefore believe that street cops ARE the problem?

  16. http://www.gallup.com/poll/180260/americans-rate-nurses-highest-honesty-ethical-standards.aspx

    Americans rate nurses highest on honesty and ethical standards.

    “WASHINGTON, D.C. — In 2014, Americans say nurses have the highest honesty and ethical standards. Members of Congress and car salespeople were given the worst ratings among the 11 professions included in this year’s poll. Eighty percent of Americans say nurses have “very high” or “high” standards of honesty and ethics, compared with a 7% rating for members of Congress and 8% for car salespeople.”

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/1654/honesty-ethics-professions.aspx
    Nurses are rated at 80% , police are rated at 48% for ethical professions.

Comments are closed.