*Hat Tip: Blacka
Frank Meyer, a 911 dispatcher and volunteer West Haven firefighter charged with slave trafficking and sexual assault, committed suicide on Tuesday afternoon while out on bail in Vermont.
Vermont State Law Enforcement arrested Meyer, 39, a volunteer West Haven firefighter, in Ludlow, Vermont on Wednesday Feb.27 after a sting operation in which the victim wore a wire.
Brett Bartolotta, a 42-year-old former firefighter with the department, was also arrested and charged in connection with the case.
Cops said the firefighters bribed the boy with money and gifts, including a dirt bike and a hunting bow, since 2001 to get him to perform hundreds of sexual favors over the 12-year span.
A year after the first meeting, Bartolotta introduced the victim to Meyer, and the sex acts would occur on Friday nights, prior to Saturday races, according to court documents.
Until the time of his death, Meyer was a volunteer firefighter for the West Haven Fire Department at Engine 23. He had been a 911 dispatcher for the city of West Haven since 1999, according to city officials.
He was also the captain of the explorer program, a department program for youths, and photos online show him standing in front of Explorer Post 3.
As time passed, Meyer brought teens from Connecticut to Vermont and once asked the victim to perform a sex act on another 17-year-old boy, according to court documents, but the teen refused.
According to investigators, Meyer also asked the teen to alter his appearance to look young and boyish and offered to pay for a new hunting bow in exchange for sex.
Bartolotta was a former volunteer firefighter for the department several years ago and now lives in Cavendish, Vermont, according to O’Brien. He also served as a past president of the Explorers, according to the department’s Web site.
Cops made the arrests after the victim recorded a conversation with Meyer at a Vermont restaurant.
On the recording, Meyer acknowledged knowing the victim since he was 12, and alluded to sexual acts, investigators said. After Meyer was taken into custody, cops searched Bartolotta’s home and took computers and a gray box into evidence.
When investigators interviewed Bartolotta he admitted to a “minor sexual relationship” with the victim over a five-year period, according to authorities, then later admitted to a more in-depth relationship that involved bondage and sex toys.
He also told law enforcers that the sexual encounters happened when his wife was at work and out of the house so they would not be discovered, according to court records.
Meyer and Bartolotta were both charged with aggravated sexual assault and slave trafficking. Their bail was set at $50,000 and they each pleaded not guilty in court.
Cops said they found Meyer dead on South Wardsboro Road in Newfane, Vermont around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday after responding to a possible suicide.