A former Monroe County School District substitute teacher who had faced three decades in prison for possession of child pornography will spend 18 years behind bars.
U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez sentenced William Britt, 55, to 220 months in prison along with lifetime supervised release as a registered sex offender in which he will be prohibited from owning computers, must disclose to employers that he may not use computers, have no involvement in youth organizations or contact with minors either in employment or private life, according to court documents.
Britt was sentenced July 2 on a charge of possession of child pornography and possession of an unregistered firearm. He filed paperwork Monday appealing the sentence to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
On Nov. 8, Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputies stopped Britt's Ford Econoline van and arrested him on a state warrant for possession of child pornography. Officers also found a sawed-off 20-gauge shotgun.
That search led them to Britt's recreational vehicle, at Sigsbee trailer park on Naval Air Station Key West property, where they seized numerous computers and equipment that contained thousands of images of child pornography, court records say.
Britt told the deputies that "if he could get to one of the guns, he would just do a suicide-by-cop," deputies wrote in 10-page report on the investigation that began with a tip Nov. 1.
Britt had just left a fake job interview for a teacher's position at Glynn Archer Elementary, a ruse arranged by the School District to lead deputies to him.
The case opened when Britt's former landlord on Cudjoe Key called the Sheriff's Office and ended with an arrest warrant.
The landlord told deputies he had evicted Britt, whom he knew as a retired Air Force captain and schoolteacher "very involved" with the local Boy Scouts and Special Olympics programs, for a "lack of sanitation and cleanliness."
On eviction day, the landlord was helping lug some moving boxes for Britt when he noticed that one held a 2-inch stack of printed pictures that were clearly child porn, deputies reported.
The landlord swiped four pictures and one CD as evidence for the police, and jotted down Britt's Florida license tag.
The pictures allegedly showed children ages 6 to 8 performing sex acts.
Britt taught intermittently since 2010 at public schools in Key West, Marathon and Sugarloaf. He had recently moved to Key West from Cudjoe Key, and was living in the trailer parked at Sigsbee Park when he was arrested.
Britt's first teaching job in the Florida Keys was in 2010 at Horace O'Bryant Middle School, where he taught kids with emotional behavior disorders, earning a yearly $44,970 salary.
During the current school year, Britt worked as a substitute teacher for $100 a day at HOB, Sugarloaf, Key West High, Marathon High, Glynn Archer and Gerald Adams elementary schools, according to School District documents.