Man sentenced to 5 years for charges related to planting drugs on local realtor

Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

A man accused of working with a deputy and planting drugs on an innocent man has been sentenced to five years.

Scott Snider appeared at a hearing Friday where he pled no con test to the charges that he acted on behalf of former Lee County deputy Niko Irizarry with Charles Custodio to plant drugs on a local realtor.

Snider was sentenced for working with a deputy to plant drugs on an innocent man. In an interesting turn of events, the most powerful moment in the courtroom was when the victim, suing the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, took the stand to testify.

In front of a Lee County court judge, Snider apologized for what he had done.

“I am just so sorry for the pain that I’ve caused. I was scared myself,” said Snider.

Mark Riley, the man falsely arrested for drugs placed in his car by Snider, was about to turn the hearing on its head. Riley is suing the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, assault and conspiracy.

According to the 400-page lawsuit, it all began in 2018. Riley testified against a man named Charles Custodio in an insurance fraud case.

The lawsuit lays out that following Custodio’s release from prison in 2021, he contacted Lee County deputy Niko Irizarry and offered him a sexual relationship and dinner in Paris to have Riley arrested on felony drug charges. It says Custodio also contacted a third defendant, Scott Snider. Snider posed as a home buyer to gain access to Riley’s car and plant drugs. Deputies then staked out Riley and stopped his car for an alleged traffic violation, at which time they found the drugs and arrested Riley.

And in a dramatic turn of events, Riley testified about what this had done to him.

“I have to hire armed security every time I come to Fort Myers because I am scared,” said Riley.

And physical trauma, he said Snider caused him.

“Since I was falsely arrestedā€¦ I learned I was diagnosed with cancer and have undergone 19 rounds of radiation treatment. The physical and emotional stress you have caused me has been unbearable,” said Riley.

Shortly after, the judge had heard enough.

“I am sentencing you to five years in State Prison,” said the judge.

After the hearing, Riley’s attorney spoke exclusively to WINK News.

“We’re not satisfied at all. He should have gotten much more,” said Yale, Riley’s attorney.

As for why Riley is suing Sheriff Carmine Marceno, the lawsuit accuses him and the Lee County State Attorney’s Office of minimizing the severity of the case by expunging records and failing to charge the deputy with the appropriate felonies for their illegal conduct.

The sheriff’s office did not respond to WINK News for comment.

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