St. Paul Woman Charged in Child Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
MINNEAPOLIS – A St. Paul woman has been indicted on federal sex trafficking charges for allegedly recruiting six minor victims to engage in commercial sex acts, announced Acting United States Attorney W. Anders Folk.
According to court documents, from May 2020 through December 2020, Gisela Castro Medina, 19, and co-defendant Anton Joseph Lazzaro, 30, conspired with each other and others to recruit and solicit six minor victims to engage in commercial sex acts. Castro Medina, who was arrested on August 12, 2021, in Okaloosa County, Florida, made her initial appearance earlier today before Magistrate Judge Hope T. Cannon, in U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida.
The indictment charges Castro Medina with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, five counts of sex trafficking of minors, and one count of obstruction. Castro Medina will be transported to the District of Minnesota and will remain in custody pending further court proceedings. Co-defendant Lazzaro will remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing, which has been rescheduled for August 24, 2021.
Based on the evidence obtained in this investigation, authorities believe there may be additional victims of the alleged conduct. Anyone with information about this matter is encouraged to call the FBI Minneapolis Division at 763-569-8000.
This case is the result of a joint investigation by the FBI and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension-led Minnesota Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force, with assistance from the Minneapolis Police Department, the West Hennepin Public Safety Department, and the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Angela M. Munoz, Emily A. Polachek, and Laura M. Provinzino are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.