Former deputy arrested, accused of planting drugs on citizens

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JACKSON, Fla. (WDHN) — Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement have arrested a former Jackson County deputy on several felony charges.

Investigators began investigating Zachary Wester, 26, back in August 2018 after accusations came out of Wester planting drugs into people’s cars and arresting them.

He allegedly violated the sheriff’s office’s body cam policy to hide his behavior.

The FDLE investigation included looking into 1,300 minutes (approximately 22 hours) worth of video.

“There is no question that Wester’s crimes were deliberate and that his actions put innocent people in jail,” said Chris Williams, FDLE Pensacola assistant special agent in charge.

He was fired from the sheriff’s office in September after body cam footage of one of the incidents was released.

“I would like to thank the citizens of Jackson County for their patience during the investigation and my staff for continuing to serve our citizens during this difficult time,” Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts said.  “I also appreciate FDLE and the State Attorney’s Office for their commitment to this investigation.”

Wester is now in the Wakulla County Jail without bond, facing the following charges:

  • racketeering
  • official misconduct
  • fabricating evidence
  • possession of a controlled substance
  • false imprisonment
  • misdemeanor perjury
  • possession of drug paraphernalia

Anyone with more information as to what happened can call FDLE Pensacola at (800) 226-8574.

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