Former Florida deputy arrested after allegedly planting drugs during traffic stops

Former Florida deputy arrested after allegedly planting drugs during traffic stops
Former deputy Zachary Wester is accused of planting drugs on people during traffic stops. (Source: WJHG/WECP/Gray News)

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A former Jackson County deputy accused of planting drugs on people and arresting them has been arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, WJHG/WECP reported.

Zachary Wester, 26, of Crawfordville, was arrested on Wednesday on felony charges including racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, possession of a controlled substance and false imprisonment, as well as misdemeanor perjury, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

FDLE began investigating last August at the request of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. They said Wester pulled people over and planted drugs inside their vehicles, tampering with the body camera recordings to hide what he was doing.

“There is no question that Wester’s crimes were deliberate and that his actions put innocent people in jail,” FDLE Pensacola Assistant Special Agent in Charge Chris Williams said. “I am proud of the hard work and dedication shown by our agents and analysts on this case to ensure justice is served.”

FDLE investigators say they logged 1,400 working hours on this case.

In September, 119 cases were dropped by the State Attorney’s Office because of Wester’s involvement in the cases. They reviewed 254 cases.

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