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Deputy court hearing set after allegedly planting evidence

Former deputy Niko Irizarri arrested
Posted at 10:06 PM, Mar 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-14 09:13:28-04

CAPE CORAL, FL. — Former Lee County Sheriff Deputy Niko Irizarry next court was set on Monday, a month after he was arrested on a felony charge for misconduct.

Irizarry was arrested on February 11, 2022, along with Charles Custodio and Scott Snider. The trio was arrested for allegedly planting drugs in a Cape Coral man's car.

According to the police report, text messages revealed that Custodio texted Irizarry asking him to arrest a person he has "hatred" towards. Custoadio claimed that the victim was a drug dealer and that he offered Irizarry sexual favors along with a trip to Paris if he would help him. Irizarry agreed to the terms according to the report.

Text messages also showed that Custodio named Snider as the accomplice to help plant the drugs and set the victim up at a certain location for Irizarry to tail him and arrest him.

Charles Custodio Mug shot
Charles Custodio's mug shot

Three days after the text exchange, Irizarry attempted to arrest the victim but was unsuccessful.

The following day on December 16th, text messages showed that Irizarry contacted Custodio to let him know he was in the area in an unmarked car.

Custodio is accused of luring the victim to the location where Irizarry could find him.

Irizarry located the victim's car and pulled him over for failing to stop at a stop sign. During the stop, Irizarry asked for a narcotics K-9. During the search, Irizarry found fentanyl, methamphetamine, oxycodone pills, and Xanax pills.

The victim denied any knowledge of the drugs being in the car, but Irizarry still arrested him.

Scott Snider's Mug shot
Scott Snider's Mug shot

In January someone made a complaint to the internal affairs office. The Lee County Sheriffs Office narcotics unit investigated the allegations that the drugs were planted.

In early February of 2022, police issued a search warrant for Irizarry's cellphone and found the text messages between him and Custodio.

On February 11th, 2022 all three men were arrested according to the police report and Irizarry admitted that he falsified documents and lied under oath.

Niko Irizarry was arrested on the following charges:

  • Felony Official Misconduct

Charles Custodio was arrested on the following charges:

  • Trafficking in Fentanyl
  • 4 Counts Possession of Controlled Substance
  • Conspiracy

Scott Snider was arrested on the following charges:

  • Trafficking in Fentanyl
  • 4 Counts Possession of Controlled Substance
  • Conspiracy

Both Irizarry and Custodio are expected back in court on April 26, 2022.