Has Fugitive Cop Surfaced in Brazil?
One thing you can call this guy for sure is "fugitive."
In the summer of 2011, Boynton Beach cop David Britto — a former Marine and 2010 Officer of the Year — was arrested on charges of possession of and conspiring to traffic methamphetamine. Authorities suspected him of running a drug ring with several other men.
But Britto famously cut off an ankle monitor and fled the country before he could be tried. His mother, Janiber "Jane" Andrade Vieira, bought him a one-way ticket from Miami to Brasilia, Brazil, then lied to the DEA about it — a move that eventually netted her a one-year prison sentence.
Little has been written about Britto since he fled, but several online profiles suggest Britto may be living in Brazil, working at a gym, and using Pinterest, all under a new last name.
At the time of his arrest, Britto ran several websites that focused on fitness and patriotism — getfitandeatright.com and blessedwarrior.com. On another, howtowinmyexback.org, he dispensed relationship advice such as "work on becoming better, work out, buy some new clothes and get a hair cut. Make yourself more attractive for your ex." For this, he was duly mocked after his arrest.
Fast-forward almost three years.
Those sites are all defunct, but as recently as December, someone was tweeting from Britto's known Twitter account, @blessedwarrior1. The profile explains he was "Born in Brazil then raised in NY. Marine Corps Vet."
A Twitter account for a "David Perciano" — @Sou1Sucesso — also dispensed Britto-style relationship advice as recently as December: "What to say in a Text to a Girl." The man pictured looks like Britto, or his doppelganger.
This Twitter profile says, "Sucesso, motivação, inspiraçao, saude, treino Brasil" and is linked to another website, souumsucesso.com, which has been suspended. Tweets include the type of vague motivational quotes Britto was fond of, like, "I am trying my best to reach #Success and teach others how to be #successful."
One rather ironic tweet says, "How far can I go in life? What direction should I go? What is the farthest I can see myself at?"
A Pinterest account for "DavidPerciano" likewise shows pictures of Britto or someone who could be his twin. He has "pinned" items in categories of "Success" and "relationship advice." Videos — like "Circuit Workout/Coach David" — have also been posted under the YouTube account Sou1Sucesso.
But it's Facebook that seemed to confirm that "Perciano" is Britto. A post shows that "Perciano" joined Facebook in 2011, moved to Guarapari in 2013, and started working at Ilha Fitness. "I only wish I could express myself and write better in portuguese to write this in its language," said one post. Pictures on the page show Marines in combat and friends in the U.S. and profess a commitment to Jesus.
Also: There are lots of hunky pictures of "Perciano."
Asked for comment through a Facebook message, the person running the page responded, "Sure i would be willing to say my version through an email. I am not perfect and made mistakes, but I did my best as a police officer for almost 5 years, and 4 years as a Marine Sergeant. and even went to war. I just dont think you can you be officer of the year and a drug dealer at the same time. In my heart, I did my best. I would have changed a few things, but i am not what the papers have reported me to be. I will let you be the judge of that."
Pressed for further explanation, "Perciano" inactivated the page.
In 2011, the Sun Sentinel reported that Britto could likely live out his days in Brazil beyond the reach of the law: "A 1964 treaty between the United States and Brazil allows for the extradition of anyone accused or convicted of a crime carrying a sentence of a year or more. But in 1988, Brazil amended its constitution, expressly stating that "no Brazilian shall be extradited."
Meanwhile, Vieira served her sentence. Court documents said she would be deported after her release — thus getting a free ticket back to her son — but it's unclear where she is now. Her federal public defender, Christopher Flood, said he could not comment.
Palm Beach County attorney Michael Salnick represented Britto at the time he fled but did not respond to a request for comment.
Barry Golden of the U.S. Marshals Service said nothing has changed in the eyes of law enforcement: "He's still a fugitive."
Boynton Beach police spokesperson Stephanie Slater said she didn't know of Britto's new life, nor did she seem to care. She said dismissively, "We've moved on since David Britto."
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