In April 2012, Daniel Chong was arrested by Drug Enforcement Administration officers on suspicion of being involved in an ecstasy ring. While Chong readily admitted to smoking pot, agents determined he wasn't involved in ecstasy trafficking. They told him he'd be released. Instead, the agents forgot about him, leaving him for four and a half days in a cell without food or water or a toilet, after which he had to be rushed to a hospital. Multiple agents saw him or heard his cries, but they all thought it was someone else's problem.
In May 2012, in a drug sting coordinated by the DEA, four people were shot dead in a boat in Honduras. Honduran authorities said they were drug traffickers, but witnesses said the victims—including two women and a 14-year-old child—were innocent. Fifty-eight members of Congress wrote to request more information and received an answer from DEA that Mattathias Schwartz's reporting in the New Yorker suggests was, charitably, misleading.
In June 2013, the Arizona Republic reported that a DEA informant who had received almost $4 million but was fired amid accusations of serial perjury was back working the DEA on undercover cases.
In August 2013, Reuters revealed that the DEA was funneling information from massive surveillance, wiretaps, and undercover agents to local police to help make arrests. In some cases, the DEA was coaching police to hide the source of the information not only from defense lawyers, but also from prosecutors and judges. A Harvard Law professor and former federal judge said she found such practices even more disturbing than the NSA surveillance program. "It is one thing to create special rules for national security," Nancy Gertner told Reuters. "Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations." This month, USA Today reported that "for more than two decades, the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed logs of virtually all telephone calls from the USA to as many as 116 countries linked to drug trafficking."