(The AEGIS Alliance) – On Tuesday, a former Florida police officer was handed down a 12 year and 6 months prison sentence for planting illegal drugs on innocent people during 3 separate traffic stops.
28-year-old Zachary Wester had been pronounced guilty back in May on 19 charges connected to the 3 occurrences that took place while he was employed by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office between 2016 and 2018. Wester had been terminated from his job in the middle of the investigation. Jackson County prosecutors had dropped 119 related cases that he had been involved with.
Wester had been found guilty in the three cases involving Joshua Emanuel, Teresa Odom, and Steven Vann. When Odom was apprehended, Wester had been observed on body-camera video bringing a baggie of drugs to her truck.
“You’ve got to wonder when the defendant was making these stops,” Tom Williams, a lead state attorney pointed out at the hearing, “is it going through his head: ‘Is anybody going to believe this person over me?’”
Prosecutors had requested that Wester should serve 15 years in prison, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Wester was found 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 counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, and also 2 counts of unlawful imprisonment. The sentences for those criminal offenses will not typically merit such a prolonged prison sentence, yet prosecutors asserted Wester’s case had been a unique situation.
“With that great power comes great responsibility,” Williams stated at the Tuesday sentencing hearing. “The defendant made choices to violate that trust and committed crimes against those people he was sworn to protect.”
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.