Zach Wester

From LEO Ratings

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Service Record

Agency Liberty County Florida Sheriff's Office
Rank Deputy
Dates of Service Hired August 16, 2015 - May 6, 2016[1]
Last Known Status Terminated.[1]
Agency Jackson County Florida Sheriff's Office
Rank Deputy
Dates of Service May 18 2016[1] - September 2018.[2]
Last Known Status Terminated[2]

Incident Reports

The Liberty County Sheriff fired Wester for having sex while on-duty and for affairs with married women.[1]

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.[1]

2017-2018 False Arrests

Zach Wester booking photo
Zach Wester

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.[1]

Some incidents were captured on Wester's body-worn camera.[2]

A prosecutor noticed discrepancies between Wester's reports and body-worn camera footage and notified his superiors.[1]

Response Timeline

On August 1, 2018, Wester was suspended during an internal investigation.[1]

On September 6, 2018, investigators found a supply of evidence in the trunk of Wester's patrol vehicle that he could plant on victims.[1]

On September 10, 2018, Wester was terminated.[1]

On July 10, 2019, Wester was arrested.[1]

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.[1]

In 2021, Wester was found guilty on charges of racketeering, official misconduct, fabricating evidence, false imprisonment, and possession of controlled substances and paraphernalia.[2]

Wester was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison.[2]

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.[2]

LEO Ratings

Training and Tactics rating: neutral
Protect & Serve rating: neutral
Individual Rights rating: bad
Accountability and Integrity rating: bad
Off Duty rating: neutral
Ratings Definitions

References