Liberty County Florida Sheriff's Office
|Dates of Service||Hired August 16, 2015 - May 6, 2016|
|Last Known Status||Terminated.|
Jackson County Florida Sheriff's Office
|Dates of Service||May 18 2016 - September 2018.|
|Last Known Status||Terminated|
The Liberty County Sheriff fired Wester for having sex while on-duty and for affairs with married women.
While with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, one female employee complained that Wester propositioned her and shared nude photos of her with other deputies. Wester admitted to an affair with a married woman. Wester started a relationship with a woman who he had arrested for shoplifting.
2017-2018 False Arrests
During the period from July 14, 2017 to June 7, 2018, Wester stopped people for traffic violations, planted drugs and paraphernalia in their vehicles, and then falsely charged them with drug offenses.
Some incidents were captured on Wester's body-worn camera.
A prosecutor noticed discrepancies between Wester's reports and body-worn camera footage and notified his superiors.
On August 1, 2018, Wester was suspended during an internal investigation.
On September 6, 2018, investigators found a supply of evidence in the trunk of Wester's patrol vehicle that he could plant on victims.
On September 10, 2018, Wester was terminated.
On July 10, 2019, Wester was arrested.
Wester was charged on 67 counts, including racketeering, official misconduct, perjury, fabricating evidence, false imprisonment, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Wester faces a maximum sentence of over 200 years in prison.
In 2021, Wester was found guilty on charges of racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, false imprisonment, and possession of controlled substances and paraphernalia.
Wester was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison.
On October 11, 2022, more than thirty victims agreed to a settlement where they will share nearly $1 million, with individuals receiving approximately $20,000 to $70,000 each based on the damages they suffered.
- Jeff Burlew, Who is Zachary Wester? What we know about the ex-deputy accused of planting drugs and his criminal case, Tallahassee Democrat, 2021-05-07
- Jeff Burlew, Ex-deputy Zach Wester drug-planting victims to share in nearly $1 million settlement, Tallahasee Democrat, 2022-11-02