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Incarceration of Daniel Chong
An April 2012 DEA raid on a California home led to the incarceration of Daniel Chong for several days under conditions of neglect. The 23-year-old student attending the University of California, San Diego was taken into custody along with eight other people when the DEA executed a raid on a suspected MDMA distribution operation at a residence that he was visiting to celebrate the April 20 cannabis "holiday" known as "420". According to Chong, the DEA agents questioned him and told him that he could go home, one even offering him a ride home, but instead he was transferred to a holding cell and confined for five days without any food or water, although Chong said he ingested a powdery substance that was left for him, which was later found to be methamphetamine. After five days and two suicide attempts, DEA agents found Chong. He was taken to the hospital, where he spent three days in intensive care, because his kidneys were close to failing. No criminal charges were filed against Chong. A DEA spokesperson stated that the extended detention was accidental and the acting special agent in charge of the San Diego DEA office issued an apology to Chong. Chong disputes the claim of accidental neglect, saying that DEA personnel ignored his calls for help. His attorney stated an intent to file a claim against the federal government and some members of California's delegation to the Congress called for further investigation of the incident.

Department of Justice Smart on Crime Program
On 12 August 2013, at the American Bar Association's House of Delegates meeting, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the "Smart on Crime" program, which is "a sweeping initiative by the Justice Department that in effect renounces several decades of tough-on-crime anti-drug legislation and policies." Holder said the program "will encourage U.S. attorneys to charge defendants only with crimes "for which the accompanying sentences are better suited to their individual conduct, rather than excessive prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug kingpins…" Running through Holder's statements, the increasing economic burden of over-incarceration was stressed. As of August 2013, the Smart on Crime program is not a legislative initiative but an effort "limited to the DOJ's policy parameters."

International
David Coleman Headley (born Daood Sayed Gilani; 30 June 1960) who was working as an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) simultaneously made periodic trips to Pakistan for LeT training and was one of main conspirator in 2008 Mumbai attacks On January 24, 2013, Headley, then 52 years old, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago to 35 years in prison for his part in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which at least 164 victims (civilians and security personnel) and nine attackers were killed. Among the dead were 28 foreign nationals from 10 countries. One attacker was captured. The bodies of many of the dead hostages showed signs of torture or disfigurement. A number of those killed were notable figures in business, media, and security services.

The DEA was accused in 2005 by the Venezuelan government of collaborating with drug traffickers, after which President Hugo Chávez decided to end any collaboration with the agency. In 2007, after the U.S. State Department criticized Venezuela in its annual report on drug trafficking, the Venezuelan Minister of Justice reiterated the accusations: "A large quantity of drug shipments left the country through that organization.We were in the presence of a new drug cartel." In his 1996 series of articles and subsequent 1999 book, both titled Dark Alliance, journalist Gary Webb asserts that the DEA helped harbor Nicaraguan drug traffickers. Notably, they allowed Oscar Danilo Blandón political asylum in the USA despite knowledge of his cocaine trafficking organization.

The government of Bolivia has also taken similar steps to ban the DEA from operating in the country. In September 2008, Bolivia drastically reduced diplomatic ties with the United States, withdrawing its ambassador from the US and expelling the US ambassador from Bolivia. This occurred soon after Bolivian president Evo Morales expelled all DEA agents from the country due to a revolt in the traditional coca-growing Chapare Province. The Bolivian government claimed that it could not protect the agents, and Morales further accused the agency of helping incite the violence, which claimed 30 lives. National agencies were to take over control of drug management. Three years later, Bolivia and the US began to restore full diplomatic ties. However, Morales maintained that the DEA would remain unwelcome in the country, characterising it as an affront to Bolivia's "dignity and sovereignty".[

In the Netherlands, both the Dutch government and the DEA have been criticized for violations of Dutch sovereignty in drug investigations. According to Peter R. de Vries, a Dutch journalist present at the 2005 trial of Henk Orlando Rommy, the DEA has admitted to activities on Dutch soil. Earlier, then Minister of Justice Piet Hein Donner, had denied to the Dutch parliament that he had given permission to the DEA for any such activities, which would have been a requirement by Dutch law in order to allow foreign agents to act within the territory.

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