Former Jackson County sheriff deputy Zachary Wester has been arrested after an investigation found he arrested drivers during traffic stops and planted drugs inside their vehicles. 

According to The Hill, Wester was charged with racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, possession of a controlled substance and false imprisonment. The investigation into Wester’s actions was launched by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at the request of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office. More than 1,300 minutes of footage and 1,400 hours of work logs were reviewed during the case. 

“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. “Wester circumvented JCSO’s body camera policy and tailored his recordings to conceal his criminal activity.”  

Teresa Odom, one of Wester’s victims, told The Tallahassee Democrat she was “overwhelmed” as they discussed the case. 

“[There is] no question that Wester’s crimes were deliberate and that his actions put innocent people in jail,” said Chris Williams, an assistant special agent for the department. 

Wester was also charged with misdemeanor perjury and possession of drug paraphernalia. The former sheriff’s deputy was fired in September and is currently in jail without bond.