Engineering student Daniel Chong, along with eight others, was taken to the DEA Kearny Mesa headquarters on April 21, following a raid on a house where he and the others were allegedly smoking marijuana.
Chong resorted to drinking urine during his stay in the 5-foot by 10-foot cell.
“I had to recycle my own urine,” Chong said in an interview with the U-T San Diego. “I had to do what I had to do to survive.”
While at headquarters, DEA agents made seven arrests, but officers purportedly told Chong that he would not be charged.
Chong was then left in his cell for five days until two DEA agents found him on April 25. The DEA paid for Chong’s hospital stay, where he was treated for kidney failure, cramps, dehydration and a perforated esophagus.
While in solitary confinement, Chong attempted to take his own life by breaking his eyeglasses and attempting to cut his wrists. He also tried unsuccessfully to carve the words “Sorry Mom” into his arm.
“I hallucinated by the third day,” Chong said during a press conference on May 1. “I was completely insane.”
Chong had also ingested a white powdery substance that he found in the cell. The substance was later identified as methamphetamine.
Chong also said that he could hear agents walking in the hallways and in adjacent cells but no one responded to his screaming or cries for help.
On Wednesday, DEA spokesman William R. Sherman apologized to Chong for the entrapment.
“I am deeply troubled by the incident that occurred here last week,” Sherman said in the statement. “I have personally ordered an extensive review of our policies and procedures.”
California Senator Barbara Boxer echoed the call for investigation in a letter she wrote to United States Attorney General Eric Holder asking for a thorough review of the incident.
At UCSD, A.S. Council passed a resolution on May 2 denouncing the DEA for Chong’s detention and urging Chancellor Fox to take a stance on the issue.
Chong’s attorney Eugene Iredale said that they intend to file a claim against the federal government. If the claim is denied, they will file a federal lawsuit.