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Detective whose story told in McFarland USA pleads guilty

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. >> An ex-detective who was on the championship 1987 track team depicted in the movie “McFarland USA” has pleaded guilty to bribery and drug charges while he was with the Bakersfield Police Department.

Damacio Diaz, was charged last year with assisting a drug dealer and providing him with names of police informants, and with trafficking drugs that had been seized for evidence.

The 44-year-old Diaz was a 17-year veteran of the department.

Diaz pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to charges including bribery and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

He faces a maximum of life in prison and a $10 million fine.

“McFarland USA” was released in 2015 and tells the story of coach Jim White, played by Kevin Costner, and his transformation of a rural running team.

Diaz and his brothers were members of the team that won the state championship.

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