19-year-old arrested in connection to Anton Lazzaro sex trafficking charges

Medina was the new chair of the University of St. Thomas College Republicans.

Left: Gisela Castro Medina/Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department. Right: Anton Lazzaro/Sherburne County Jail.

A 19-year-old student at the University of St. Thomas has been arrested in Florida in connection to Republican operative Anton Lazzaro’s indictment on federal sex trafficking charges, the Daily Beast first reported.

According to the outlet, Gisela Castro Medina was arrested as a “fugitive from justice” in the Florida panhandle Thursday night, the same day Lazzaro was charged with recruiting six minor victims for commercial sex acts between May and December of last year.

Medina was the new chair of the University of St. Thomas College Republicans, according to a statement released Saturday.

“It was just brought to my attention that on Thursday, August 12, University of St. Thomas Chair Gisela Castro Medina was arrested alongside Anton Lazzaro for obstruction of justice, sex trafficking, and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of underage victims,” Minnesota College Republicans Chair Nia Moore said. “We as an organization are absolutely disgusted by the actions of Ms. Medina, and have cut all ties with her effective immediately.”

The name of Lazzaro’s co-conspirator was redacted in the indictment unsealed Thursday. If that person is in fact Medina, then she faces one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of a minor, five counts of sex trafficking of minors, and one count of obstruction.

Some Republican lawmakers are now calling on Minnesota GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan to resign because of her mismanagement of the party and close friendship with Lazzaro, who donated $42,000 to the party.

“We have an elected leader with toxic conflicts of interest surrounding herself with a board that fails to act. Chair Carnahan needs to resign. There are simply too many questions about actions taken under her watch as the leader,” the four members of the New House Republican Caucus said in a letter released Saturday.

Carnahan issued a second statement Saturday, calling the charges “heinous and disturbing.”

The Minnesota GOP’s executive committee is scheduled to meet Sunday night to discuss auditing the party’s finances. Some have called on the committee to remove Carnahan as chair, which would require a two-thirds vote of the 15-member committee.