Former Jackson Co. deputy arrested for planting drugs

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
July 10, 2019

MARIANNA, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says they have arrested 26-year-old Zachary Wester on felony charges of racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, possession of a controlled substance and false imprisonment.

Officials say Webster, a former Jackson County Sheriff's Office deputy, was arrested Wednesday morning in Crawfordville and is facing additional charges of misdemeanor perjury, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

FDLE says they began their investigation in August at the request of JCSO and say their investigation shows Wester routinely pulled citizens over for alleged minor traffic infractions, planted drugs inside their vehicles and arrested them on fabricated drug charges.

Authorities say Wester circumvented JCSO's body camera policy and tailored his recordings to conceal his criminal activity.

“There is no question that Wester’s crimes were deliberate and that his actions put innocent people in jail,” said FDLE Pensacola Assistant Special Agent in Charge Chris Williams. “I am proud of the hard work and dedication shown by our agents and analysts on this case to ensure justice is served.”

“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,” said Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts. “I also appreciate FDLE and the State Attorney’s Office for their commitment to this investigation.”

FDLE says over 1,300 minutes of recorded video was analyzed over their investigation.

Officials say Wester has been booked into the Wakulla County Jail and is being held without bond.

Authorities say this is remains an active case. If you have additional information about Zachary Wester regarding this case, please contact FDLE Pensacola at (800) 226-8574.

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