UPDATE: 163 people exonerated after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs. Deputy finally charged. - Wrestling Forum: WWE, AEW, New Japan, Indy Wrestling, Women of Wrestling Forums

 21Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
 
2 Ton 21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,201
Points: 29,148
                     
UPDATE: 163 people exonerated after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs. Deputy finally charged.

UPDATE:

Saw an update for this story.

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/ne...be/1691366001/

Quote:
After 119 exonerated, former Jackson County deputy Zach Wester arrested in drug planting probe

Fired Jackson County Deputy Zach Wester was arrested Wednesday on racketeering and numerous other charges for allegedly planting meth and other street drugs on unsuspecting motorists before hauling them off to jail.

Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who have been investigating Wester for more than nine months, arrested him in Crawfordville and took him to the Wakulla County Jail, where he is being held without bail. Wester, expected to make his first court appearance on Thursday, invoked his right to remain silent and declined to speak with investigators.

He was arrested on 52 counts in all. Aside from the racketeering count, he was charged with a number of other felonies, including official misconduct, false imprisonment, fabricating evidence and possession of a controlled substance. He was also charged with misdemeanor charges of perjury, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, FDLE said.

Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts, State Attorney William “Bill” Eddins of the 1st Judicial Circuit and Chris Williams, special agent in charge of the FDLE’s Pensacola office, discussed the case in an afternoon news conference. One of Wester’s alleged victims, Teresa Odom, wept as they discussed details of the case.

“I’m overwhelmed,” she said afterward, adding she was proud of one of the FDLE agents who worked with her during the investigation.

'Something we're not proud of'

Roberts, who had been silent about the Wester allegations since the Tallahassee Democrat broke the story last year, said Wester’s alleged crimes were “disheartening.” He thanked the community for its patience during the investigation, which got sidetracked after Hurricane Michael hit Oct. 10.

“This is something we’re not proud of,” said Roberts, who plans to retire and not seek re-election next year. “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.”

Eddins and Williams offered new details in the case, including a large amount of drugs found in Wester’s vehicle during an internal affairs probe that began last August. But investigators declined to give a possible motive for Wester’s alleged actions.

“You’re never certain of the ways of the heart of man,” Eddins said. “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.”

Williams emphasized that the case was still open, and he asked the public to call FDLE’s Pensacola office if they have any information about Wester.

“A significant investigation has been and is being conducted,” Williams said. “FDLE has assigned a team of 10 special agents and two crime analysts who have logged over 1,400 hours on this case already. And it’s still ongoing today.”

Eddins, who was assigned the case after Glenn Hess, state attorney for the 14th Judicial Circuit recused himself, said he was prepared to go to trial now if Wester demands a speedy trial. And he said he will not allow a plea bargain in the case in part because it involves a public employee. He added that so far, no evidence has been found that any other deputies or other Sheriff’s Office personnel worked in concert with Wester.

“It’s been my experience in monitoring this investigation that the law enforcement community in Jackson County is honest, professional and they do not condone or support illegal activity,” Eddins said. “I cannot overstate how complete and how well (the Sheriff’s Office) cooperated with us.”

Help the Tallahassee Democrat continue to provide in-depth reporting like this. Find our latest subscription options and special offers here.

'His actions put innocent people in jail'

FDLE began its investigation last August at the request of the Sheriff's Office after whispers of misconduct by Wester began to surface around the courthouse. He was suspended Aug. 1 and fired a month later. During the internal investigation, deputies searching his patrol car found 42 pieces of drug paraphernalia, ten baggies of methamphetamine and five baggies of marijuana concealed in an unmarked and unsecured evidence bag in the trunk.

“The items located within Deputy Wester’s patrol car were not maintained as required of legitimate evidence, items for safe keeping or items for destruction,” the arrest affidavit says. “The multiple items located were consistent with, and similar in appearance to, items believed to have been used to fabricate evidence during (his) traffic stops and arrests.”

THE BACK STORY:

The investigation found Wester routinely pulled over citizens for alleged minor traffic infractions, planted drugs inside their vehicles and arrested them on fabricated charges. It also found that Wester misused his body camera, sometimes turning it off before drugs were located or turning it on just after they were found.

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

Christina Pumphrey, a former assistant state attorney in Marianna who helped bring Wester's alleged misdeeds to light, said she was "incredibly surprised" to learn of his arrest because she didn't think he'd ever get charged.

"I'm glad he's off the road," she said. "I'm glad he's obviously facing charges. It doesn't change what the rest of the people went through because of him. It doesn't give them their time back. It doesn't give them their money back. It doesn't expunge their records — they still have at least arrest histories. But it's still something."

'Our investigation is ongoing'

The allegations prompted prosecutors in Marianna to review nearly 300 cases involving Wester. They ultimately dropped charges in nearly 120 cases. But Eddins said there’s no indication Wester planted drugs or fabricated arrests in all of those cases. He noted that the charges against Wester are based on his arrests of 11 different people.

“Our investigation is ongoing,” Eddins said. “There’s a substantial amount of work to be done. But I have no belief that there’s anywhere near 100 victims. We may have identified most of the victims, we may (have) not.”

Odom, pulled over last year by Wester in Cottondale, was among the victims listed in arrest documents. Wester’s own body camera footage appeared to show him with a baggie in his hand before he put on his gloves to begin searching her pickup truck. Hess told the Democrat last year that the footage caused him to lose confidence in the deputy. Odom’s charges were eventually tossed.

THE VICTIMS:

Another of his alleged victims, Benjamin Bowling, was arrested in 2017 on charges of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, according to the arrest affidavit.

Wester claimed he smelled marijuana in the vehicle, though Bowling, a passenger, and the driver denied doing drugs. After Wester announced he’d found drugs in the car, Bowling swore he’d been clean since an earlier DUI arrest. At the time, he was being tested regularly after gaining custody of his daughter.

“Furthermore, Bowling voluntarily took a drug test after he was arrested and it was negative,” the arrest report says. “Bowling contacted the Sheriff’s Office and requested that the drugs were tested for DNA and fingerprints. Bowling also requested the body camera video but never received it. Bowling lost custody of his daughter because of the arrest.”

The racketeering charge against Wester carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in state prison. The other felonies carry maximum sentences of five years. Eddins said that under Florida’s sentencing guidelines, Wester could face 13 and a half years in prison if convicted on all charges, though a judge could opt to give him more time behind bars.
OP:



https://www.tallahassee.com/story/ne...rom=new-cookie

Quote:
Judge releases prisoners as deputy misconduct probe expands to 263 cases

A judge vacated sentences of at least eight people in state prisons and correctional facilities who were arrested by a former Jackson County deputy accused of ginning up traffic stops and planting meth on unsuspecting drivers.

Circuit Judge Christopher Patterson entered the orders Wednesday in the Jackson County Courthouse in Marianna, about an hour’s drive west of Tallahassee. State Attorney Glenn Hess also announced in court documents that charges would be dropped in the cases, all of which involved former Deputy Zachary Wester.

“(An) investigation conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office into the professional conduct of Deputy Zach Wester has revealed facts that undermine the state’s confidence in the case,” Hess wrote in documents filed in each of the cases.

Patterson also ordered Jackson County Sheriff Lou Roberts to take custody of at least five of the inmates, transport them back to the county and release them immediately.

The inmates, all of whom were convicted on methamphetamine and other drug charges, were being held at correctional facilities from Quincy to Lake City. One of the inmates had been arrested twice by Wester, according to court records.

Meanwhile, the State Attorney’s Office said charges have been dropped against thirty-plus other defendants who were arrested between 2016 and 2018, when Wester worked as a patrol deputy for the Sheriff’s Office. One of the defendants was a juvenile.

Hess on Wednesday said his office is reviewing a total of 263 cases involving Wester dating back two years.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement opened an investigation into Westeron Aug. 1 at the request of the Sheriff’s Office. The case is open and ongoing, and no charges have been filed against him. Wester, 26, of Marianna, was fired Sept. 10.

No one answered the door at Wester’s home off Highway 71 in Marianna after a reporter knocked on Wednesday afternoon. His attorney, Steve Meadows of Panama City, told reporters he would not comment on the pending case.

Hess told the Tallahassee Democrat on Wednesday that he lost confidence in Wester after seeing the deputy’s body camera video from a Feb. 15 arrest of an Alford woman, Teresa Odom, on charges of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

In the video, Wester can be seen holding something in his left hand before he begins searching the woman’s pickup truck and finding a similar-looking item, presumably the meth. The Democrat obtained a copy of the video on Wednesday; the State Attorney’s Office released it to media outlets on Thursday.

Wester went to work for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in May 2016. Before that, he worked about nine months as a deputy for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. He worked under the previous Liberty County sheriff, Nick Finch, and members of the command staff under Sheriff Joe White were unfamiliar with him until news broke on Wednesday.

“We are fully prepared to work with FDLE and the State Attorney’s Office if they wish to conduct a review of any case files or case records,” said Liberty County Capt. John Summers.
What a piece of shit. Listen to how friendly he is to her as he's planting drugs to send her to jail.

Odds he gets any time? Also, why do cops that plant drugs never get charged with possession?

2 Ton 21 is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 01:34 PM
Magic, sparkles and Strap-ons!
 
Miss Sally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 13,488
Points: 36,484
                     
Re: 8 convictions vacated, 263 others under review, 30+ cases dismissed after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs

How many people have gone to jail over stuff like this?

Law Enforcement is so broken.

Miss Sally is offline  
post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 11:57 PM
EXCELSIOR!
 
Lumpy McRighteous's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Where Lands Are Green and Skies Are Blue
Posts: 15,576
Points: 31,869
                     
Re: 8 convictions vacated, 263 others under review, 30+ cases dismissed after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs

An abusive scumfuck that never should've had any business holding a badge.

His punishment should obviously be paid leave.



Lumpy McRighteous is offline  
post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 12:06 AM
TEAM DARKLADY
 
THE MAN,THE MYTH,THE SHIV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: CASA DEL BAD SHIV
Posts: 57,997
Points: 291,925
                     
Re: 8 convictions vacated, 263 others under review, 30+ cases dismissed after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs

His new motto will be to protect and to serve time.
Undertaker23RKO likes this.

THE MAN,THE MYTH,THE SHIV is offline  
post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 12:24 AM
There is no duty we so much underrate as... being happy. -Robert Louis Stevenson
 
DesolationRow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Trying to not look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet seeing her, like the sun, without even looking.
Posts: 18,600
Points: 15,595
                     
Re: 8 convictions vacated, 263 others under review, 30+ cases dismissed after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs

World class fool being caught with his own body cam.

Glad he was caught. The proverbial book should be thrown at him.



I do not Know a Thing About Hearthstone yet but I Thank the Incomparable, Illustrious and Magnificent Queen of Love and Beauty AryaDark/LadyCroft for Her Wonderful Creations, my Avi and Sig
DesolationRow is offline  
post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 08:07 PM
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,953
Points: 1,028
                     
Re: 8 convictions vacated, 263 others under review, 30+ cases dismissed after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs

i'll be happy when he is in jail, any cop planting evidence should get a min 20 yrs and an additional yr for every person they are found to have planted evidence, and if they get life then so be it, fuck them
Stormbringer likes this.

dinner

as i look around the room.
wheres the butter
wheres the butter........

its a shameful thing! lobster head
a hairless thing, from the sea!
you wear your skin like a shell, too many limes, too many limes
ooooooooooooooh. oooooooooooooh

these words are true, and i'll make you believe
ooooooooh, ohhhhhhhhh
yeah, i would turn up the over and watch it begin to boil.

oooooooooooh, oooooooohh
and you wear that ginger well
you souless piece of food
alejbr4 is offline  
post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 08:22 PM
From parts unknown
 
Reaper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 22,177
Points: 80,834
                     
Re: 8 convictions vacated, 263 others under review, 30+ cases dismissed after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs

Im just curious to hear the defence of this cop that's eventually going to happen.

If this is Florida, I've heard rumors here of quota system in place and that is a huge incentive for cops to do this sort of shit.


Last edited by MRS. REAP! WARM ME UP (before i freeze to death on youuuuu); 09-23-2018 at 08:25 PM.
Reaper is offline  
post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 08:24 PM
Asking JAMES ELLSWORTH for Wrestling Advice
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 499
Points: 1,903
                     
Re: 8 convictions vacated, 263 others under review, 30+ cases dismissed after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs

I'm glad the corruption is being exposed.
IndyTaker is offline  
post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 09:00 PM
tombstone blues
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 13,172
Points: 39,518
                     
Re: 8 convictions vacated, 263 others under review, 30+ cases dismissed after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs

See it in the headlines
You hear it every day
They say they're gonna stop it
But it doesn't go away

They move it through Miami
Sell it in L.A
They hide it up in Telluride
I mean it's here to stay

It's propping up the governments
Of Columbia and Peru
You ask any DEA-man
He'll say there's nothing we can do


There has been an AEWakening... have you felt it?

The mark wars have begun again

DAMN THAT TRACK IS HOT

THAT'S GOTTA BE KANE (IS BACK) (AGAIN)

RIP Robin

SPACE FORCE!

(space, space, space, force!)

SPACE FORCE!
deepelemblues is offline  
post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-24-2018, 08:36 AM
 
blaird's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 835
Points: 2,592
                     
Re: 8 convictions vacated, 263 others under review, 30+ cases dismissed after deputy caught on his body cam planting drugs

How do the people not explain to their lawyer that evidence was planted and ask to see all the body cam footage? Seems like this could have been avoided with the first arrest.
blaird is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome