A former Jackson County Sheriff’s Office deputy has been arrested and charged for pulling over random drivers and planting drugs in their cars.
Zachary Wester, 26, was fired last year but officially charged Wednesday with racketeering, official misconduct, false imprisonment, and several other felonies, Business Insider reports.
According to the outlet, Wester targeted innocent drivers and planted drugs in their vehicles so he could arrest them on false charges. He was able to hide his nefarious actions from superiors by tampering with and manipulating his body camera recordings.
Wester was fired from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in Florida over the allegations last September.
“There is no question that Wester’s crimes were deliberate and that his actions put innocent people in jail,” FLDE Pensacola assistant special agent in charge Chris Williams said in a statement.
Prosecutors have also dropped charges in 119 cases that involved Wester. One victim even lost custody of his daughter after he was convicted of felony meth possession, The Post reported.
“You’re never certain of the ways of the heart of man,” State Attorney William Eddins told reporters. “We have some ideas and some theories, and we’ve talked about that a lot. But I do not feel that it would be appropriate to go into it in any detail at this time.”