BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - The Boynton Beach Police department's 'Officer of the Year' for 2010 was indicted on Tuesday for conspiring to possess and traffic 500 grams of methamphetamine, according to U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer.
The indictment accuses David Britto, 28, of drug dealing from June 2009 until March 4, 2011. Britto faces a potential life sentence if convicted, prosecutors said.
Police Chief G. Matthew Immler released a statement saying, in part, "the Boynton Beach Police Department vigorously polices itself, and this case is an example of how law enforcement roots out corruption from within its own ranks."
Officer Britto was named 'Officer of the Year' in January for, among other things, helping to identify a man suspected of shooting two street preachers and for performing CPR on a 2-year-old girl who almost drowned in her family's swimming pool in November.
"I saw the little baby on the ground and started praying," Britto said, recounting the life-saving effort at a December reunion with Elionore Dieujuste and her daughter, Vitalice, who made a full recovery.
Britto said at the beginning of last year, he took out a pen and a piece of paper and wrote down that on every call he wanted to make a difference in someone's life.
"It is nice to be recognized when you have really tried your best," he said upon receiving the 'Officer of the Year' honor. "This only motivates me to keep doing what I'm doing and reach my goals."
In 2010, Britto also worked 11 burglaries resulting in 19 arrests and 18 narcotic cases leading to 25 arrests, records show.
In 2008, Britto was one of three Boynton Beach police officers who fired 23 shots into a stolen Dodge Caravan as the vehicle's driver tried to run them down, investigators said.
None of the officers or the seven suspects in the van was injured, according to the police report.
Britto has been a Boynton Beach police officer since September 2006, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement database.
He was caught in a Drug Enforcement Administration led Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation.
"The decision to deal drugs while carrying a badge is not only a breach of the law enforcement oath, but a community tragedy as well," DEA Mark R. Trouville,Miami Special Agent in Charge said in a statement.
Chief Immler echoed that sentiment in his statement.
"We realize that when an officer stands accused of a violation of the public trust, all of law enforcement pays the price in eroded citizen confidence and the perception of diminished integrity," Immler said.
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