A judge has dropped 119 criminal cases after it was revealed that a former #Florida deputy was involved in dirty arrest practices that included planting drugs on people.
Following a lengthy investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, prosecutors in the 14th Judicial Circuit announced that the investigation revealed that former Deputy #ZacharyWester was behind a large number of faulty cases, @TheGrio reported. Wester was fired earlier this month based on those findings.
Cases involving Wester were dismissed and on Tuesday alone, 49 cases were thrown out by #JacksonCounty Judge Wayne Mercer. According to the #TallahasseeDemocrat, the charges that have been dropped in the 119 cases range from misdemeanor and criminal traffic offenses to felonies, including possession of methamphetamine and other controlled substances.
Derek Blount, an assistant public defender, asked for the sentences of at least 40 defendants to be vacated or set aside pleas. State Attorney Laura Parish instead announced that the charges would be dropped altogether because of the corrupt deputy.
Wester’s corruption cases came to light after a report by the Tallahassee Democrat surfaced in which he was seen on body cam video planting meth in a woman’s pickup truck.
“We’re just pursuing justice,” Blount said, “trying to do everything we can.”
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh