Westport man allegedly trafficked young men for sex
WESTPORT — A town man was among two arrested in connection with a human trafficking ring based in the Danbury Thursday.
Danbury police detectives and special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation — New Haven Office arrested Bruce J. Bemer, 63, of Glastonbury, and William Trefzger, 71, of Westport, police announced Thursday.
Police believe the ring, which operated in Danbury but reached other cities, targeted young males with mental health issues, gave them to wealthy “clients” throughout the state and forced the men to have sex for money.
No one answered the door at an address listed as owned by Trefzger in the Greens Farms area of Westport Thursday. The house, set back from the road between Hilltop Road and Sherwood Island Connector off Greens Farms Road, had a blue Honda Accord parked in the driveway.
An American flag flew at the house and the front door was adorned with several bumper stickers, one picturing a Confederate Flag and another a symbol of the Third Reich.
The Westport Police Department played a supportive role in the FBI’s investigation.
“Our role was to assist the federal authorities and there was some assistance,” Police Chief Foti Koskinas said. “We played a support role (assisting with interviewing, making sure everyone’s safe, many different things). He (Trefzger) was on our radar because the FBI was investigating him and he lived in Westport.”
“We were not investigating Mr. Trefzger for any incidents that took place in Westport,” he added.
Police said the investigation into the ring began in January 2016, but Bemer admitted to investigators that he has been paying to have sex with young men delivered to him by Danbury resident Robert King for more than 20 years.
At least 15 young men in their early 20s with illnesses including schizophrenia and paranoia were exploited as part of the scheme, court records state. Some of the victims had severe disabilities and were living in group homes.
According to arrest warrant affidavits, King befriended the young men by plying them with money and drugs, including cocaine and heroin, and later pushed them into prostitution after they had built up substantial drug debts. King delivered the young adults to Bemer, Trefzger and at least four other clients in the area, the affidavits said.
One of the victims told police he was looking for bottles in dumpsters when King approached him and offered money to cut his lawn. The two would hang out in King’s mobile home on Miry Brook and listen to music. A short time later, King introduced the victim to Bemer, who showed the victim his collection of antique cars and motorcycles,according to court records,.
“He asked for a ride in his helicopter, but it never happened,” the affidavit states.
Bemer told police that he paid around $250 for each encounter, of which $50 would go to King, records show. Bemer said King would sometimes “push” additional young men, but he would tell King that he “wasn’t in the mood.”
Investigators first approached King in August 2016, when he told detectives that he knew the victims and that he “only brought the boys to the clients.”
“I’m just a gay guy trying to help people,” he said, according to the warrant.