An ex-Florida sheriff’s deputy was sentenced to 12 years in prison for planting drugs inside drivers’ cars during traffic stops and then arresting them.
The ex-deputy for Jackson County, Zachary Wester, 28, did not speak at the hearing. Among the 67 counts against him were racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, perjury, false imprisonment, and possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia.
Shortly before he was suspended, detectives from the office of internal affairs found drugs in Wester’s patrol car. Prosecutors say Wester used ready-to-plant evidence when he conducted his traffic stops. In the video, Wester is also seen holding what looks like drug bags surreptitiously before searching a car after stopping it.
As a result of accusations that Wester planted evidence, Florida prosecutors had to drop charges in nearly 120 cases.
Thomas Williams, the prosecutor, sought 15 years for Wester on the grounds that he had broken “the public’s trust.”
We are a grassroots team of local journalists on a mission to give our community up-to-the-second news and events for Southern Ohio, Northern Kentucky, and Western West Virginia. We believe progress inspires change and we believe our reporting has become the front-lines of Portsmouth, Ohio's comeback.