Bodycam footage from a February 2018 arrest showed Zachary Wester planting small packets methamphetamine in Teresa Odom's pickup truck during what was supposedly a routine traffic stop.
A former Jackson County deputy has been arrested after he was accused of planting drugs on victims to make several false arrests. Following an investigation, prosecutors have dropped the scores of cases related to the false claims.
A Florida cop has arrested dozens of innocent people after planting drugs in their cars during traffic stops pic.twitter.com/peWZy8BPm1— In the NOW (@IntheNow_tweet) June 30, 2019
26-year-old Zachary Wester was arrested at his Crawfordville residence on felony charges which include official misconduct, racketeering, fabricating evidence, possession of a controlled substance, and false imprisonment. Additionally, he is also being charged with official misconduct, fabricating evidence, and misdemeanour charges of perjury.
According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Wester was put under investigation after a request was made by his former employer, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.
A Florida cop planted meth on random drivers, police say. One lost custody of his daughter.— Susan Cooper (@BuzzEdition) July 11, 2019
Zachary Wester was charged with 52 counts of racketeering, false imprisonment, official misconduct, fabricating evidence and possession of controlled substances.https://t.co/YxtNNwCDWc
Bodycam footage from a February 2018 arrest showed Wester planting small packets methamphetamine in Teresa Odom's pickup truck during what was supposedly a routine traffic stop. During that incident, the FDLE was investigating over 254 cases that were handled by Wester.
@ByEliott Something amiss w/your CNN Story, Ex-deputy accused of planting drugs on Florida drivers is arrested https://t.co/ETeleYBFcH It states that Zachary Wester, 26, was taken into custody, then later states Wester was fired Sept 10, after being w/dept since 2000. Do the math— Handy Sandy (@handysandy33) July 11, 2019
The FDLE released a news statement about the ongoing investigation, saying: "The investigation shows Wester routinely pulled over citizens for alleged minor traffic infractions, planted drugs inside their vehicles and arrested them on fabricated drug charges. Wester circumvented JCSO's body camera policy and tailored his recordings to conceal his criminal activity."
I’m a law abiding...employed, tax paying citizen, family man...and white ‘caucasian’, and I’m scared of the police. Every interaction with the police is potentially dangerous to your health...or deadly. Just ask the 100+ victims of deputy Zachary Wester - https://t.co/OmXMMpTJnU— trick (@trick69ist) July 7, 2019
Out of the countless people that were arrested by Wester, 11 of them have claimed that the ex-deputy had framed them. Wester would plant a random combination fo prescription pills, marijuana, methamphetamine, or other drug paraphernalia such as scales and syringes.
Because of the investigations being carried out, nearly 120 people have been exonerated for being falsely charged. Meanwhile, there are three federal lawsuits that have been filed against Wester. Several other victims who lost custody of their children have also decided to file a case against Wester for damages caused.
Watch it: Famiily member on arrest by Deputy Zachary Wester: 'The charges were bogus' https://t.co/2L2h7YCvkm— Tallahassee Democrat (@TDOnline) September 22, 2018
There is no word yet on what kind of a prison sentence Wester's crimes carry.