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$20M claim filed by man forgotten by DEA

  |   May 3, 2012 at 7:59 AM
SAN DIEGO, May 3 (UPI) -- A California college student mistakenly locked up in a cell for five days and forgotten by U.S. drug agents has filed a $20 million claim, his attorney said.

Daniel Chong, a 23-year-old engineering student at the University of California, San Diego, said he was picked up in a Drug Enforcement Administration drug raid near campus on April 21. He was interviewed and told he would be sent home, but instead was left for days inside a holding cell without food, water or a bathroom, the U-T San Diego reported Thursday.

"The deprivation of food and water for four and one-half days while the person is handcuffed the entire time constitutes torture under both international and domestic law," the claim filed by attorney Eugene Iredale said.

William Sherman, acting special agent in charge of the DEA's San Diego Division, said he has ordered "an extensive review of our policies and procedures."

"I am deeply troubled by the incident that occurred here last week," Sherman said in a statement. "I extend my deepest apologies to the young man and want to express that this event is not indicative of the high standards that I hold my employees to."

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