A Republican strategist was arrested on Thursday on charges of sex trafficking of minors. The investigation has found that he preyed on young girls.
Anton Lazzaro of Minneapolis was taken into custody by the FBI after being accused of recruiting six minors to interact in industrial intercourse acts. The Daily Beast first reported the news, and FBI confirmed Lazzaro's arrest in Minneapolis on Thursday morning.
Lazzaro is Accused of Recruiting Six Minors to Engage in Commercial Sex Acts
According to a Department of Justice press release, from May 2020 through December 2020, Anton Joseph Lazzaro, a/k/a "Tony Lazzaro," conspired with others to recruit and solicit six minor victims to engage in commercial sex acts.
The indictment charges Lazzaro with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors, five counts of sex trafficking of minors, one count of attempted sex trafficking of a minor, and three counts of obstruction. Lazzaro will remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing on August 16, 2021.
Authorities believe there may be more victims, but have not shared further specifics on their case against Lazzaro, the ages of his victims, or how the allegations came to light.
Who is Anton Lazzaro?
Anton Lazzaro is a Republican strategist and former congressional campaign manager in Minnesota. As a strategist, Lazzaro headed up the political action committee Big Tent Republicans. Lazzaro is an occasional Fox News guest who flaunted his wealthy lifestyle on social media, says The Daily Beast.
Lazzaro has cast himself as a next-generation Republican with "more modernized views," as he told Minnesota's Star Tribune last year.
On his personal website, Lazarro is pictured alongside former president Donald Trump and former vice president Mike Pence, according to the Daily Mail.
In 2020, Lazarro had served as the campaign manager for GOP candidate Lacy Johnson, who ran an unsuccessful bid in 2020 to unseat Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.
Tucker Carlson Pictured with Anton Lazzaro; Is the #GOPPedoRing Being Exposed?
Meanwhile, a snap of Anton Lazzaro with Fox News host Tucker Carlson is also being circulated widely on social media. Some netizens are speculating the connection between the two by asking why does Tucker hang out with sex traffickers?
One Twitter user said, "This the same Anton Lazzaro pictured palling around with famous #GOPDeathCult #GOPPedoRing and pal of Matt Gaetz Tucker Carlson." Another user wrote, "Very poor choice of people to hang out with. If there is anything tying them together it should be investigated."
Lazzaro was also pictured with Trump, Graham, Rubio, Gaetz, and others. One comment read, "#GOPPedoRing dominos are beginning to fall. If you see @mattgaetz at an airport, inform your nearest security agent!"
Another comment read, "Sounds like Gaetz told Tucker "you better back me up" but Tuck said he couldn't recall... Gaetz has no alibi . Tucker has some weird friends tho..."
Some social media users suggested to toss Lazzaro in a prison and throw away the key. One Twitter user said, "The GOP is nothing but another cult that gives cover to sexual predators, racists and arrogant sociopathic narcissists."