BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — An ex-detective who was on the championship 1987 track team depicted in the movie “McFarland USA” has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to bribery and drug charges.
The sentence given to Damacio Diaz on Monday was more lenient than prosecutors had urged for the 17-year veteran of the Bakersfield Police Department. The Bakersfield Californian says (http://bit.ly/2dGESLb) the U.S. Attorney’s Office recommended between 17 and 22 years.
Diaz was charged with assisting a drug dealer and providing him with names of police informants, and with trafficking drugs that had been seized for evidence.
“McFarland USA” was released in 2015 and tells the story of coach Jim White, played by Kevin Costner, and the transformation of a rural running team.
Diaz and his brothers were members of the team that won the state championship.
Information from: The Bakersfield Californian, http://www.bakersfield.com