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$4 Million Will Go to UC Student DEA Forgot It Jailed on 4/20

$4 Million Will Go to UC Student DEA Forgot It Jailed on 4/20
Daniel Chong via SizzleRossilini / YouTube

Remember the case of Daniel Chong, the UCSD student celebrating 4/20 last year when the DEA locked him up for nearly five days without food, water or any contact with his captors? Yes, his name is Chong. Yes, he was busted by the feds. Yes, he was celebrating marijuana's international holiday. (No, he doesn't have a friend named Cheech.)

Well, Chong is getting nearly $1 million a day in settlement money for his ordeal, his attorneys said today:

Julia Yoo, a partner in the San Diego firm that represents the student, confirmed for the Weekly Chong's $4.1 million settlement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Chong was held for more than four days in spring after the DEA's bust of a friend's San Diego–area house, where agents say they found 18,000 ecstasy pills.

See also: Daniel Chong's 5-Day Nightmare Behind Bars Sparks Outrage for Marijuana Nation

He didn't have anything to do with the drugs, however, and wasn't charged.

But when he was detained and thrown in a cell, Chong also was forgotten. Oops. He said he had to drink his own urine and even contemplated suicide.

His lawyers filed a claim for $20 million in advance of a possible lawsuit, but it didn't get that far. Yoo says the DEA settled and apologized.

Nobody's been fired. Yet. But the case is still under an independent review.

[Added at 2:49 p.m.]: Yoo says doctors determined that a substance Chong ingested while being held, apparently eaten because he was somewhat delirious, was determined by doctors to be methamphetamine.

The white powder was in a blanket given to him by agents, the lawyer said.

He also was treated for having ingested glass shards from his own pair of glasses.

Read more details on that in this U-T San Diego report.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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