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Former Jackson County Deputy Zachary Wester Sentenced To More Than 12 Years After Being Convicted Of Planting Drugs During Traffic Stops

Man in green Jackson County Deputy uniform stands in front of a car with flashing red and blue lights.
Bodycam footage
Jackson County Sheriff's Department
2018 body camera footage shows former Jackson County Deputy Zachary Wester. He was convicted of planting drugs during traffic stops and has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.

The former Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy who was convicted of planting drugs in the vehicles of people he pulled over has been sentenced to 12 years and six months in prison.

During the sentencing hearing for former Jackson County Sheriff Deputy Zachary Wester, the court listened to testimony from several of Wester’s friends or family who asked for leniency. They argued Wester has played an important role in supporting the local community.

"I have no doubt that you will take into account the person that Zachary is and his contribution not only to this community but to his friends, family and myself,", Wester's wife, Rebecca Wester, said to Judge James Goodman.

One of Wester’s victims, Teresa Odom also spoke. She says Wester’s actions had significant negative impacts on her life.

“Gee Mr. Wester, you’ve robbed me of my credibility. Being a mother and a grandmother for the last three years, I’ve probably missed a year-and-a-half of my grandbaby's life because of this.”

During the sentencing hearing, the judge also denied a request to release Wester on bond while he seeks an appeal.

Follow @Regan_McCarthy

Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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