Police detective sentenced to 5 years in prison

October 3, 2016

Damacio Diaz and Patrick Mara

A former detective with the Bakersfield Police Department was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for bribery, drug trafficking, and filing a false income tax return, said acting United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.

On May 31, Damacio Diaz, 44, of McFarland pleaded guilty to the charges. Diaz’s former partner, Patrick Mara, 36, of Bakersfield pleaded guilty to related charges on June 20 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 17.

From April 2012 through Feb. 2015, while employed as a police officer with the Bakersfield Police Department (BPD), Diaz handled a criminal informant who was involved in the large-scale sale and distribution of methamphetamine. Diaz continued to operate the informant even though he was fully aware of the informant’s ongoing criminal activity.

During this time, Diaz received bribes from the informant in return for intelligence on law enforcement activities as well as protection from investigation and arrest, according to court documents,

In addition to accepting illegal bribes, Diaz also engaged in drug trafficking. On Sept. 20, 2012, while on duty, Diaz stopped a vehicle operated by two individuals from Yakima, Washington and used a BPD dog handler and police dog to search the vehicle.

The search uncovered an ice chest containing approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine divided into multiple bags. The BPD dog handler did not seize any of the drugs from the vehicle, but turned the scene over to Diaz and Mara to secure the methamphetamine and oversee the investigation of the incident.

A week later, Diaz booked approximately one pound of methamphetamine from the vehicle stop into evidence. Diaz and Mara maintained possession of the remaining nine pounds of methamphetamine, and they ultimately sold it for their own personal gain.

According to the plea agreement, Diaz also filed a joint income tax return for the calendar year 2012 that falsely reported total income of $168,485 and did not include additional income of at least $97,900.

“Diaz’s illegal activity caused irreparable damage to his reputation, put the lives of others at risk, undermined public trust in the Bakersfield Police Department, and facilitated criminal activity,” said Special Agent in Charge Monica M. Miller of the FBI Sacramento field office. “The FBI and its federal law enforcement partners will continue to identify and investigate individuals who violate their oath of service and ignore the commitment they made to their communities.”


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8 Comments

  1. shudacuda says:

    Sounds like Diaz was inspired by the documentary “The 53 “

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. justbeware says:

    Whether they be crooks in a uniform, or crooks in a gang uniform, it good to have crooks off our streets.

    (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down
  3. SLOBIRD says:

    I am not surprised about the sentencing. If you have been following crime in this and other Counties, you will see that crimes are being demoted from felonies to misdemeanors, bails have been reduced so that can get out of jail faster and sentencing periods is being reduced. We voted for these changes in 2014,

    https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_47,_Reduced_Penalties_for_Some_Crimes_Initiative_(2014)

    Next month we will be asked in Prop 57 to allow more parole and less jail for crimes committed

    https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_57,_Parole_for_Non-Violent_Criminals_and_Juvenile_Court_Trial_Requirements_(2016)

    (11) 17 Total Votes - 14 up - 3 down
  4. dogeatdog says:

    You are a disgrace to the uniform and I hope the inmates teach you a lesson.

    (17) 25 Total Votes - 21 up - 4 down
    • kayaknut says:

      If they actually do end up spending anytime in prison, it will be in a private cell with their food brought to them so they do not have to eat with all those criminals. Private time outside with extra guards, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a job back in law enforcement waiting when they get out, and of course a lifetime pension when they hit their early 50’s.

      (7) 19 Total Votes - 13 up - 6 down
  5. billygatez says:

    Officers shoot mentally ill man in stomach in atascadero; had a metal bar; unarmed. Officers shoot and kill santa maria man, mentally ill; had knife. Officers shoot man in A.G.; mentally ill, had a knife or small weapon “they say”, in the stomach. Now this. CA and its awesome well trained law enforcement, making bank and shoot first, ask later. I trust my armed neighbors, whom dont break the law, and dont shoot first. I dont trust the police, especially atascadero.

    (-10) 42 Total Votes - 16 up - 26 down
    • BigRed says:

      I don’t disagree with all of your sentiments but there are a couple of things to clarify. Metal bars & knives are weapons. We should never expect cops to “fight fair” or give the benefit of the doubt to unknown suspects. Cops should never have to “duke it out” or absorb any bodily harm…ANY bodily harm. Although you may think $165K is making bank, I disagree. Ten times that money isn’t worth letting potentially violent suspects take the first swing or get a foot closer before eliminating the risk. Truth is once you confront an officer and propose even a 5% chance of harming them… the jig is up. The best you can do is hope for the tazer which does not have a great track record for stopping power. Oh, and then there’s the ultimate antidote: Do what the cop asks… live to cry about your civil rights later.. It can be very profitable.

      (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
  6. kayaknut says:

    5 years, cut down to maybe 2 because of over crowding, yeah no special deal here, come on time to stop the special treatment of guilty LEO’s.

    (16) 30 Total Votes - 23 up - 7 down

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