Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration have gotten away with yet another despicable breach of American civil liberty. The latest atrocity was blown wide open in a report from The Los Angeles Times, which reveals that federal agents responsible for nearly killing a 23-year-old college student, after holding him in custody for several days without food or water, only received brief unpaid vacations for the inhumanity of their actions.
It has been nearly a year since the Office of the Inspector General released a report on the incident surrounding Daniel Chong, who was busted in 2012 during a DEA raid and taken into custody on suspicion of working with an organized drug ring. Although he was dragged in for questioning, agents eventually realized that Chong was not the drug-slinging kingpin they had originally suspected. Turns out he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time; stopping by the targeted house to get stoned with some friends.
However, while the interrogation squad told Chong that he had been cleared of any wrongdoing and would soon be released, none of the agents ever returned to the cell to set him free. Instead, he spent the next five days in holding, where he was forced to drink his own urine to avoid the perils of dehydration. By the time he was finally discovered, Chong was on the verge of death, suffering from kidney failure and respiratory issues, which required him to spend the next four days recovering in intensive care.
According to the Times, the Justice Department sent a letter to Congress stating its disdain for the treatment Mr. Chong received while in federal custody, suggesting that maybe the time had come for a “systematic review of the DEA’s disciplinary process.”
The letter indicates the DEA submitted a report regarding the Chong incident to the Board of Professional Conduct without conducting an internal investigation. It also states that the only disciplinary action issued was four reprimands, a five day suspension for one agent, and a seven day suspension for the supervisor in charge at the time the misconduct occurred.
The penalties seem surprisingly lenient for a case that ended up costing the federal government $4.1 million. But, then again, it has become readily apparent, especially when considering the shady details of the past several months, the DEA takes great pride in employing dope enforcers who swim on the imbecilic side of the human gene pool. In fact, it is due to DEA administrator Michele Leonhart’s unwillingness to put the leashes on agents, who were found guilty of engaging in cartel funded orgies with prostitutes, that motivated the Obama Administration to persuade her to strongly consider an early retirement.
The word on the street is that the Justice Department has now sent in a clean up crew to conduct an appraisal of the DEA’s disciplinary procedures, so that maybe Leonhart’s “untouchable” attitude will not resonate over to the agency’s next administrative force.
“The Department of Justice has serious concerns about the adequacy of the discipline that DEA imposed on its employees,” Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesman for the Department of Justice, told The Los Angeles Times, adding that they “will make recommendations on how to improve the investigative and disciplinary processes for all allegations of misconduct at DEA.”