BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Federal authorities are searching for a Boynton Beach police officer — the 2010 Police Officer of the Year — who fled house arrest and is on the run, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Officer David Britto, 28, who remains on paid administrative leave, was placed on house arrest at his mother's Coral Springs home after posting a $100,000 bond on July 7. He's scheduled to stand trial next month on federal drug charges.
A warrant for his arrest was issued Thursday, the morning after he broke his 11 p.m. curfew and was discovered missing, U.S. Marshals spokesman Barry Golden said Tuesday.
Britto removed his ankle bracelet, authorities said.
"A deputy U.S. marshal has been assigned to the case and [is] actively pursuing him," Golden said. "We will treat him just like every other fugitive, but with more caution because he has a law enforcement background … He is well-versed with firearms and police tactics, so that makes him that much more of a concern."
Britto was arrested on July 1 on charges of conspiring to possess and traffic 500 grams of methamphetamine. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
His trial is scheduled for Sept. 12.
Family members at his mother's home on Tuesday said they don't know where Britto is.
"We're concerned, but there's not much we can do," said his brother, Brian Viera, 17.
Britto's attorney, Michael Salnick could not be reached for comment Tuesday despite attempts by phone.
Britto continued updating his blog, http://www.blessedwarrior.com , while on house arrest.
The former U.S. Marine Corps sergeant — accused of drug trafficking from as early as June 2009 until about March 4 — blogged as recently as Aug. 17 about God and the challenges of life:
"Have you ever faced something that seems so overwhelming that you have no idea how to handle? Does everything seem so cloudy and you cannot see a few inches in front of you?
"I do know the feeling and have felt it a few times in my own personal life. But if it is one thing I did learn in the experiences in my life that God is always in control of every situation and circumstances."
Sun Sentinel staff writer Wayne Roustan and staff researcher Barbara Hijek contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2011, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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