Around this time last year, Bakersfield Police Department detective Damacio Diaz was excited about the announcement of a Disney movie depicting his family’s life. McFarland, USA is about Diaz and his brothers, sons of lowly farmworkers who turned their school’s cross country team into a national powerhouse. The family of runners boosted the McFarland team to nine state championships from 1987 through 2001, including five in a row. However, Diaz is now facing serious charges pertaining to him assisting the running of meth for a local racket, as well as hustling a little himself.
Diaz has been on administrative leave since the investigation into his activities was launched. On Friday, he was called into the Bakersfield PD offices where he was arrested and was later arraigned on 16 counts. According to ABC Action News, the charges are as follows:
According to count one of the indictment, from April 18, 2012, to February 20, 2015, Diaz conspired with a narcotics dealer to distribute methamphetamine. Counts two through four charge Diaz with accepting over $5,000 in bribes in each calendar year of 2012, 2013 and 2014 in return for being influenced and rewarded in connection with his official acts as a BPD police detective. Counts five through 13 charge Diaz with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, wherein, Diaz retained methamphetamine for his own personal gain that came into his care and control in the course of his duties as a BPD narcotics detective. Count 14 charges Diaz with the intentional disclosure of wiretap information in order to obstruct, impede or interfere with a criminal investigation. The indictment also alleges that Diaz filed false tax returns for tax years 2012 and 2013.
Diaz is being held on $200,000 bail or release agreement. If convicted, he could serve life in prison. ABC Action News breaks it down as:
…10 years in prison for each count of bribery, 20 years in prison to life for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, five years in prison for each count of intentional disclosure of wiretap information, and three years in prison for each count of making a false income tax return.
Disney’s McFarland, USA is due out on February 20, and stars Kevin Costner.
Read the full indictment against Diaz here.