Student "Forgotten" in DEA Custody: New Details

Daniel Chong has filed a $20 million claim saying he was left in a windowless room for days without food or water

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As the Drug Enforcement Administration investigates the detainment and abandonment of a man in one of its own holding cells without food or water for days, new information shows other agencies, including San Diego police, were involved in the man’s initial arrest.

    UCSD student Daniel Chong has filed a $20 million claim against the federal government, accusing them of leaving him in custody for days without food or water at San Diego DEA headquarters.

    SDPD's Role in DEA Controversy

    [DGO] SDPD's Role in DEA Controversy
    UCSD student Daniel Chong has filed a $20 million dollar claim against the federal government, accusing them of leaving him in a holding cell for days without food or water. The DEA won't say exactly how many other agencies took part in that raid but sources tell NBC 7's Tony Shin San Diego police officers were there.

    NBCSanDiego first broke the story Saturday about the April 21 drug raid at an University City apartment.

    Chong said he was handcuffed in a windowless room and left with no food or water.

    When he spoke about the incident to NBCSanDiego Tuesday, he admitted he had to drink his own urine to survive. Watch video

    The raid was conducted by the Narcotics Task Force which is made up of federal agents as well as officers from other local law enforcement.

    Man Forgotten in DEA Custody Speaks

    [DGO] Man Forgotten in DEA Custody Speaks
    Daniel Chong, the UC San Diego student who was left in a Drug Enforcement Agency holding cell for nearly five days, said the time spent in his cell was a life-altering experience. NBC 7's Tony Shin reports.

    The DEA won't say exactly how many other agencies took part in that raid, but sources told NBCSanDiego that San Diego police officers were there.

    A police spokesperson won't comment on exactly what role SDPD officers played, or if they had any interaction with Chong when he was taken to DEA headquarters for questioning.

    Daniel Chong was supposed to be released, instead he was forgotten.

    San Diego defense attorney Gretchen Von Helms said it's important because Chong's attorney, Gene Iredale, has already filed a $20 million claim against the federal government.

    "It's ultimately going to matter who was in charge of this young man's arrest who was in charge of where he was detained and who forgot about him," Von Helms said.

    “Mr. Iredale may have to amend his lawsuit to include other parties such as the San Diego Police department if they played a role in it," she said.

    The DEA has apologized to Chong and the agency is still investigating who is directly at fault.

    But a spokesperson for San Diego Police says no one from that department has been accused of any wrongdoing at this time.

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