Mother of Fugitive Boynton Beach Cop Pleads Guilty to Helping Son Flee

Mother pleads guilty to conspiracy charge for helping former cop flee to Brazil

By Brian Hamacher
|  Tuesday, Oct 18, 2011  |  Updated 9:28 AM EDT
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A Boynton Beach police officer accused of moonlighting as a drug dealer is on the run, officials said.

A Boynton Beach police officer accused of moonlighting as a drug dealer is on the run, officials said.

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The mother of the Boynton Beach cop who authorities say fled to Brazil days before he was to go on trial on drug charges could be heading to jail herself after she pleaded guilty to helping her son flee the country Monday.

Janiber Vieira, 51, is expected to be sentenced Nov. 21 in federal court on one count of conspiracy for helping son David Britto buy a one-way ticket from Miami to Brazil on Aug. 24, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Vieira faces five years in prison. Under the plea deal, charges of lying to DEA agents and contempt of court will be dropped.

"She was trying to save her son," defense attorney Margot Moss said after Monday's hearing.

Vieira, of Coral Springs, was arrested earlier this month as she was about to board a flight to Brazil at JFK International Airport. Authorities say Vieira bought her son's plane ticket to Brazil then lied to federal authorities concerning his whereabouts.

Britto, Boynton Beach's 2010 "Officer of the Year," had been on administrative leave following his arrest in July for allegedly selling over 500 grams of methamphetamine between June 2009 and March 2011.

Rather than face the charges, authorities say Britto, who was out on $100,000 bond and under house arrest at his mother's home, broke curfew and removed his ankle monitor. That same day, authorities say he boarded a flight from Miami to Brazil.

Britto, 28, was born in Brazil, which doesn't allow extradition for nationals, and has dual citizenship there and in the U.S.

An international fugitive, Britto was officially fired by the Boynton Beach Police Department last month after he failed to show for his trial.

Moss aid Vieira doesn't know where her son is. U.S. Marshals are still pursuing him.

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