Former Bakersfield police officer pleads guilty to bribery and other charges, apologizes for actions

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Damacio Diaz said he doesn't recognize the man he was three years ago when he was a detective working for Bakersfield police. (KFSN)

Damacio Diaz said he doesn't recognize the man he was three years ago when he was a detective working for Bakersfield police.

"What's in the past, is in the past. I can't go back and fix it, but I can tell you, I'm a different man today."

His story started in McFarland back in 1987. He was part of the famous cross country team and was featured in a Disney movie. Years later, he put on a badge and from there, Diaz said, he slowly fell to corruption.

"You don't go from being the kind of person I am, and what I was, to ending up in handcuffs in a courtroom, overnight."

According to court documents, in 2012 Diaz started taking bribes in exchange for police intelligence. In September of the same year, he seized 10 pounds of meth during a traffic stop, he turned in one pound and sold the rest.

He was arrested last year and on Tuesday, he took a plea deal at the federal courthouse. He pleaded guilty and then stepped outside to say sorry.

"For letting everyone down. We got into a situation where, we began to cross the line, and little-by-little, we went beyond what was allowed and what should have been done," said Diaz.

Diaz said he wasn't the only corrupt officer in the department. In fact, his partner, Patrick Mara, was linked to the case and he also took a plea deal.

"I believe that what happened to me, other officers will think twice in the future before crossing that line," said Diaz.

For his crimes, Diaz could go to prison for at least 10 years. A judge will decide the length of the sentence and it'll be stacked on top of the shame Diaz said he brought to his name and his hometown.

"What I am doing now and what I will continue to do until the day God takes me away is-- I will make up for what I did."
Related Topics:
newsofficer arrestedofficer chargedcaliforniabakersfieldbriberydrugsBakersfield
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