New court documents released by the United States District Attorney's office detail the scope of the operation run by former Bakersfield Police officers Damacio Diaz and Patrick Mara.
According to the case documents in which Mara is named as the defendant, the FBI goes into specific detail about certain instances in which the two stole drugs with the intent to sell.
The Summary of Offense Conduct states:
"... between June 14, 2012, and October 29, 2013, Defendant, a Bakersfield Police Department (“BPD”) officer, conspired with his law enforcement partner, Damacio Diaz, to use their positions as police officers to take narcotics for their own personal gain."
It goes on to state:
"The FBI’s investigation has revealed that this third party was Defendant’s acquaintance and that this third party further distributed this methamphetamine into the community. In his plea agreement, Defendant admitted that he and Diaz stole approximately 20 pounds of actual methamphetamine that should have been booked into evidence.
"For instance, on July 28, 2012, Defendant contacted two BPD officers and requested that
they stop a vehicle. Defendant and Diaz previously received information from a confidential source that the vehicle contained methamphetamine. See id. The officers stopped the vehicle as directed and found that it contained approximately five kilograms of methamphetamine. Id. Defendant instructed the officers to book only one kilogram of methamphetamine; Defendant and Diaz stole the remaining four kilograms. Id. Notably, no criminal complaint was filed and the arrested individuals were released. Id.
"Likewise, on September 20, 2012, Diaz contacted a BPD officer and requested that he stop a vehicle. Defendant and Diaz previously received information from a confidential source that the vehicle contained approximately 10 pounds of methamphetamine. The officer stopped the vehicle and noticed that the vehicle was occupied by two individuals and had an ice chest containing multiple bags of methamphetamine. Defendant and Diaz took possession of the methamphetamine, which evidence indicates they stole for their own personal gain. Id. One week later, Diaz booked one pound of methamphetamine into evidence, indicating that it came from the September 20, 2012 seizure. See id. Both arrested individuals were booked for narcotics-related charges, but later released with no criminal complaint being filed. Id.
"Defendant and Diaz also participated in a similar scheme regarding the seizure of marijuana. For instance, on November 10, 2012, a BPD officer conducted a vehicle stop and located a large quantity of processed marijuana. Id. Defendant and Diaz took custody of the marijuana. Id. Evidence indicates that there were 12 bags in the vehicle; however, only nine bags were ultimately booked into evidence. Id. Likewise, evidence indicates that Defendant and Diaz again stole a portion of the marijuana that they seized in a separate case on December 19, 2012."
It goes on to say that when Mara was questioned by the FBI in Feb. of 2015 about Diaz's involvement in illegal activity, he "falsely denied knowledge." He would deny the allegations three more times in 2015.
It wasn't until Feb. 2016 that Mara admitted to the FBI that he participated in narcotics trafficking with with Diaz while they were members of the Bakersfield Police Department. Mara admitted that he and Diaz "unlawfully converted approximately twenty pounds of actual methamphetamine that should have been entered into evidence to their sole possession."
In describing the seriousness of the crimes committed by Diaz and Mara, the U.S. District Attorney's office says:
"What makes Defendant’s crime all the more insidious is the type of drug he chose to distribute. Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that has been linked not only to serious health consequences for its users, but to increased non-narcotic crime rates, child abuse and various other societal harms."
It goes on to question the credibility of Mara and Diaz:
"When the law enforcers become lawbreakers, the public trust in government is diminished. It remains to be seen, but would not be surprising, if respect for that Department is eroded to a degree that it leads to increased opposition to BPD officers’ attempts to enforce the law, or results in additional legal challenges where a BPD
officer’s credibility is at issue.
"Given that Defendant was a police officer when he committed his crimes, he has arguably damaged his community more than a comparable drug dealer."
It also says the crimes committed by Mara reflect on the type of person he is:
"This is not a situation in which a good police officer committed a crime unrelated to his job. Nor is this a situation where a good police officer had a brief moment of weakness on the job. Defendant used his position of public trust to repeatedly break the very narcotics laws he was assigned to enforce. He did so for over a year. This is not aberrant behavior for which prior public service should warrant a reduced sentence."
Mara is scheduled to be in court on Monday where he will be sentenced.
Diaz was sentenced earlier in October. He was sentenced to five years in prison.