4/20 was anything but ecstasy for Daniel Chong, a 23 year old engineering student from the University of California in San Diego. Chong was accosted by DEA agents during a drug sweep on a suspected MDMA distribution center.
Chong had gone to a friends house to get high on 4/20, the international marijuana smoking day. Chong passed out, but the next morning the house was raided by DEA agents who found 18,000 MDMA pills, various other drugs, and weapons. The DEA says that they also took 8 other people into custody.
Chong was clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time, but the story doesn’t end there. After being questioned by the DEA Chong was incarcerated in a 5′ by 10′ cell without being charged. Making matters worse he was held there for 5 days without any food or water.
Chong states that he had to drink his own urine to survive. At one point he found a white substance in his cell which he ingested to survive. Authorities later identified the substance as methamphetamine. Chong says that he suffered from hallucinations where anime characters told him to dig into the walls to find water. He then tore apart the walls plastic lining. Chong told the AP “I pretty much lost my mind.” He later told NBC “I didn’t care if I died. I was completely insane.” At that point Chong had lost his will to live. He broke his eye glasses and used a shard of glass to carve sorry mom into his arm, however he only managed to finish the S.
When someone finally came to release Chong he was covered in feces. After being released his ordeal was far from over. Chong was rushed to the hospital where he was treated for dehydration, kidney failure, cramps and a perforated esophagus. In just five days he had lost 15 pounds. Ironically he was treated by the hospital for five days.
William R. Sherman, the top DEA agent in San Diego issued a half-assed apology stating that “he was deeply troubled.”
Chong and his lawyers plan on suing the DEA for $20 million on the grounds that the federal agency tortured him. I hope that Chong gets every red cent. In addition I won’t be satisfied until every DEA agent involved in this debacle is fired and criminally prosecuted for this vicious crime.
In the words of Hunter S. Thompson “We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws.” The time has come to teach these uniformed thugs some respect. If we don’t any of us could be the next victim of the DEA or the police.