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A former activist for Republican Party activities in Minnesota was sentenced to 21 years in prison Wednesday after he was convicted of sex trafficking charges involving underage girls.

Anton “Tony” Lazzaro, 32, also was sentenced to five years of supervised release for orchestrating the sex traffic conspiracy, which included at one point picking up a group of 14-year-old and 15-year-old girls from a slumber party, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Minnesota.

“Mr. Lazzaro targeted, manipulated, and sexually exploited young and vulnerable girls for his own gain without regard for their age or safety,” Alvin M. Winston Sr., the FBI special agent-in-charge, said in a statement.

“Today’s sentencing sends a strong message that those who commit such heinous crimes will be held accountable. The FBI prioritizes crimes of victimization and will leave no stone unturned to protect the vulnerable and bring every perpetrator to justice.”

Authorities said Lazzaro conspired with Gisela Castro Medina, a 21-year-old woman he met on the “sugar daddy” website Seeking Arrangements in 2020. Castro Medina has pleaded guilty for her role in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced in September.

The Republican operative invited Castro Medina and a minor victim to his condo at the Hotel Ivy in Minneapolis, officials said, adding that Castro Medina told Lazzaro that the minor victim was only 16 years old before arriving.

Lazzaro plied Castro Medina and the minor girl with alcohol and paid them $600 to engage in sex acts with him, prosecutors said. He would pay the minor teen in cash to engage in sex acts with her on other occasions, with Castro Medina taking half of each payment.

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