Calif. doctor pleads guilty in RX trafficking case

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A California doctor known as the "Candy Man" and linked to a dozen drug deaths has pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing powerful painkillers to his patients.

Federal prosecutors say 64-year-old Julio Gabriel Diaz pleaded guilty Thursday to 11 counts in an Orange County courtroom. He returns to court June 2 to face a sentence of up to 200 years in prison.

Diaz was arrested at his home in Santa Barbara County two years ago. Authorities say Diaz supplied prescription drugs to addicts and others who had no legitimate need for the narcotics.

Court records say a dozen deaths — 11 of which were overdoses — have been linked to Diaz, but he hasn't been charged in connection with the deaths.