A former Florida sheriff’s deputy Florida was arrested and pulled off the streets after an investigation determined he was planting drugs on unsuspecting random drivers.
On Wednesday, 26-year-old Zachary Wester was charged with the felonies racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, possession of a controlled substance and false imprisonment, officials said in a news release.
Last year, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation info the claims that Wester was setting up innocent people.
“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,” the department said, according to The Hill. “Wester circumvented JCSO’s body camera policy and tailored his recordings to conceal his criminal activity.”
Investigators reviewed more than 1,300 minutes of footage in the case and Wester was fired last September.
“This is something we’re not proud of,” said Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts. “No agency wants to go through this kind of situation and face the embarrassment of the public. This is a very serious matter. We’re supposed to set higher standards, and the allegations that were made in this case will be tried.”
Wester is currently being held at the Wakulla County, Fla., Jail without bond.
“There is no question that Wester’s crimes were deliberate and that his actions put innocent people in jail,” said Florida Department of Law Enforcement Special Agent Chris Williams.
Wester was additionally charged with misdemeanor perjury, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.