28-year-old Zachary Wester was convicted on 19 out of 67 counts, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. Wester faced charges of planting drugs at 12 various traffic stops, however, was merely pronounced guilty for only three of those incidents.
Wester served as a deputy for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office from 2016 up until 2018 when he was actually terminated in the middle of an investigation into the drug planting. Prosecutors dropped 119 counts in the panhandle region following his arrest in 2019.
A jury found Wester guilty when it came to the cases of Teresa Odom, Joshua Emanuel as well as Steven Vann. During Odom’s apprehension, Wester was actually observed on a body-cam video bringing a bag of drugs to Teresa’s vehicle.
In 2018, Wester had been suspended, and also police officers discovered drugs and paraphernalia tucked away in his police car during the investigation. Wester asserted he discovered the drugs hours prior to his suspension, yet prosecutors pointed out he didn’t disclose the items.
Lead prosecutor Tom Williams proposed at Wester’s trial that he particularly targeted individuals to plant drugs on.
“You’ve got to wonder when the defendant was making these stops,” Williams stated, “is it going through his head: ‘Is anybody going to believe this person over me?’”
Wester has been formally pronounced guilty of one count of racketeering, 3 counts of official misconduct, 3 perjury counts, 3 counts of fabricating evidence, 4 counts of possession of an illegal drug, 3 drugs, and paraphernalia possession counts as well as 2 counts of unlawful imprisonment, according to local area CBS partner WCTV.
Zachary Wester was taken into police custody and jailed, he will face sentencing at a later time.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.