CaribbeanFever / FeverEyes / CaribFever

Caribbean Fever - Your ONLY destination to all things Caribbean and more

Florida deputy, 28, is jailed for more than 12 years after being caught on bodycam planting drugs on drivers during minor traffic stops - forcing prosecutors to drop nearly 120 cases

Wester (left) was in court Tuesday for sentencing after being found guilty on 19 charges in May including racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, perjury, false imprisonment and possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia

  • Zachary Wester was sentenced Tuesday to 12 and a half years in prison for planting drugs on innocent drivers during traffic stops and then arresting them
  • Wester was found guilty on 19 charges in May including racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, perjury, false imprisonment and more
  • Prosecutors had to drop charges in nearly 120 cases that occurred between 2016 and 2018 because of the accusations that Wester planted evidence
  • Investigators found drugs hidden inside Wester's patrol car and analyzed over 1,300 minutes of body-camera video to build their case against him
  • Among those present at his sentencing was Teresa Odom, a woman who was arrested and convicted after Wester planted methamphetamine in her car
  • Odom spoke directly to Wester, telling him that he ruined her reputation and deprived her of time with her grandchild; her conviction has been thrown out 
Former Jackson County deputy Zachary Wester (above) was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for planting drugs on innocent drivers during traffic stops and then arresting them

Former Jackson County deputy Zachary Wester (above) was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for planting drugs on innocent drivers during traffic stops and then arresting them

A former Florida sheriff's deputy has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison after he was caught on body-camera video planting drugs on innocent drivers during traffic stops and then arresting them.

Former Jackson County deputy Zachary Wester, 28, was found guilty on 19 charges in May including racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, perjury, false imprisonment and possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia. 

As a result, prosecutors had to drop charges in nearly 120 cases that occurred between 2016 and 2018 because of the accusations that Wester planted evidence.

During his trial, the prosecution argued that the drugs found by investigators were ready-to-plant evidence Wester used during his traffic stops.

Body camera video presented during the court proceedings showed Wester holding what appeared to be baggies filled with drugs surreptitiously before searching cars after stopping them.

While the motive behind Wester's actions remains unknown, prosecutors believe it could have been his desire to serve in the narcotics division.

Earlier this year, Former Jackson County Sheriff's Office Captain Scott Edwards told the Tallahassee Democrat that a job in the narcotics division came with pay increases, overtime, other less tangible benefits and more prestige.

'[Wester] mentioned in the past that he'd like to work narcotics,' Edwards confirmed to the newspaper. 

He also noted that he would also look for 'proactive' deputies to serve in the narcotics department and is quoted saying he knew Wester to be proactive.

Wester (left) was in court Tuesday for sentencing after being found guilty on 19 charges in May including racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, perjury, false imprisonment and possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia
Body camera video presented during the court proceedings showed Wester holding what appeared to be baggies filled with drugs surreptitiously before searching cars he'd stopped

Bodycam shows deputy planting baggie of drugs during traffic stop

On Tuesday, about two months after his week-long trial, Wester was issued a prison sentence of 12 years, six months and eight days, WCTV reported.

Prosecutor Tom Williams had asked the judge to to sentence Wester to 15 years, saying he committed 'an egregious breach of the public's trust'. 

'People voluntarily grant their government awesome powers they deem necessary for public safety and protection,' Williams said. 'With that great power comes great responsibility. The defendant made choices to violate that trust and committed crimes against those people he was sworn to protect.'  

Wester's wife Rebecca, as well as more than 50 others, expressed their support for the former deputy and begged the judge for leniency. They argued that he is a good, churchgoing man who volunteers in his community. 

'When that career ended, suddenly I watched a part of him and myself as well die,' Rebecca Wester said. 'This blow is one that will not be overcome quickly, and honestly one we may never overcome. 

'The Zach that is in the court before you today is a mighty man of God. Has been greatly missed, but the place he has been missed the most is in our home.'

However, those who were directly impacted by Wester's illegal actions, felt quite differently about his character.

Teresa Odom, one of Wester's victims, told the judge he had ruined her reputation and deprived her of time with her grandchild. 

'You robbed me of my credibility and being a mother and grandmother over the last two and a half years,' she said to Wester during Tuesday's trial. 'I wish you no ill will. But you´ll never know what you did to me until you have children of your own.' 

One of Wester's victims, Teresa Odom (right), appeared in court Tuesday to tell the judge (left) how the former deputy had ruined her reputation and deprived her of time with her grandchild

One of Wester's victims, Teresa Odom (right), appeared in court Tuesday to tell the judge (left) how the former deputy had ruined her reputation and deprived her of time with her grandchild

Wester (left) stopped Odom (right) for a defective brake light in 2018 and asked for permission to search her truck. She agreed
Wester claimed he found a baggie of methamphetamine in her purse, but body camera video showed him palming a bag before beginning his search

Wester stopped Odom for a defective brake light in 2018 and asked for permission to search her truck. She agreed. 

He claimed he found a baggie of methamphetamine in her purse, but body camera video showed him palming a bag before beginning his search.

Odom, who vehemently denied the drugs were hers when confronted by Wester, later pleaded no contest and received four years probation. 

That conviction has since been thrown out.

Beginning in August of 2018, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted a nearly year-long investigation into Wester after authorities noticed his name as arresting officer on a disproportionate number of drug arrests.

Multiple officials had expressed concern that Wester's vehicle searches were not always conducted legally, citing that his written affidavits did not always match what was shown in video footage.

Investigators say they found drugs hidden inside Wester´s patrol car and analyzed over 1,300 minutes of body-camera video to build their case against him.

Wester was fired from the Jackson County Sheriff’s office in September 2018 and arrested in July 2019 as a result of investigation. He went to trial in May 2021. 

Odom (pictured above), who vehemently denied the drugs were hers when confronted by Wester, later pleaded no contest and received four years probation. That conviction has since been thrown out
During a nearly year-long investigation, agents found drugs hidden inside Wester´s patrol car and analyzed over 1,300 minutes of body-camera video to build their case against him

During a nearly year-long investigation, agents found drugs hidden inside Wester´s patrol car and analyzed over 1,300 minutes of body-camera video to build their case against him

Views: 1631

Comment

You need to be a member of CaribbeanFever / FeverEyes / CaribFever to add comments!

Join CaribbeanFever / FeverEyes / CaribFever

Comment by evolution on July 23, 2021 at 9:28am

I hope they shank his ass in prison..

Comment by rafael monzon on July 17, 2021 at 4:42pm

Wow people were getting locked up for a year for one vile of crack months to years for weed and other substances in their possession and he only gets 12 years and he had it on him all the time lying saying it was found in their vehicles.  The system really is a joke.

Comment by Enjay Jr. on July 17, 2021 at 9:33am

I think that deputy should get a few extra years for stupidity, he knows that he is wearing a body camera yet tries to plant drugs. Makes you wonder how much are police departments manipulating or covering up body camera evidence to protect their reputation. Obviously this police criminal had no fear of being caught.

Comment by vaughn mitchell on July 16, 2021 at 5:05pm
Damn, I hope all those people sue, since they can't sue him. F****** Florida.
Comment by mr1stroke on July 16, 2021 at 12:38am

Negros are the one believing in cops talking about good cops but have yet to show me one, those are racists failures who came from the families of slave cathers and colony watchers, they will never be your friends or like you 

Comment by Roots aka TJ What De Ras on July 15, 2021 at 11:18pm
He should of been locked up the same time instead of waiting an entire year
Comment by James on July 15, 2021 at 11:17pm
Good now the kraka can get azz planted whoopns

Celebrate your BIRTHDAY with CaribbeanFever on 107.5 WBLS, NY

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

FOR ALL YOUR DANCEHALL AND REGGAE NEWS CLICK PIC BELOWreggae dancehall queen 4

}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{

PUMP IT! or DUMP IT! SAT & SUN NIGHT on Caribbean Fever 107.5 WBLS NY (GET YOUR NEW MUSIC PLAYED) SONG{S} BEING VOTED ON ARE {------ ) and {----- }

|||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

CARIBBEAN NEWS

Caribbean Fever with the best Caribbean News online!

 

SOME TOP BLOGS

Groups

© 2021   Created by Caribbean Fever.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service