GOP donor set to face trial in sex trafficking case
Plus …Another tool for Kia and Hyundai owners targeted by thieves.
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GOP donor Anton Lazzaro set to face trial in sex trafficking case
A disgraced GOP political operative goes on trial this week, charged with sex trafficking teenage girls.
Anton “Tony” Lazzaro faces seven federal counts involving five minors aged 15 and 16. Court documents allege Lazzaro used a co-conspirator to find girls on social media and invite him to his downtown Minneapolis penthouse, where he would pay them for sex acts.
Lazzaro has maintained his innocence, saying the case is politically motivated. His attorneys filed a motion for dismissal as recently as last week.
In a trial brief filed earlier this month, the US Attorney’s office said all five of Lazzaro’s victims would be taking the stand. In addition, Lazzaro’s co-conspirator Gisela Castro Medina is expected to testify against him. She pleaded guilty to trafficking-related charges in December.
Court documents allege Medina helped Lazzaro find the victims through social media and lure them to his home where he would give them alcohol, cash, and other valuable items in exchange for sex.
The trial begins Tuesday.
Catch Up Quick
🌊 Officials in Stillwater will discuss the flooding threat during a meeting with residents today, the first day of spring.
🚗 A fatal crash on Highway 5 in Eden Prairie Monday morning is under investigation. The Minnesota State Patrol says it’s investigating the crash on eastbound Highway 5 near Eden Prairie Road.
🏈 After ten years with the Vikings, Adam Thielen announced Sunday he is headed to Carolina.
Another tool for Kia and Hyundai owners targeted by thieves
There’s been a lot of interest in a new Minneapolis company founded on its solution for recovering cars once they’ve been stolen.
When Lacey Gauthier sees a problem, her goal is to fix it.
“My daughter she comes to me with an idea, and I just go running,” Gauthier said.
Back in August, her teenage daughter saw a way to help amid the skyrocketing car thefts. They knew people targeted in their Longfellow-Nokomis neighborhood.
Gauthier’s new startup TC Nighthawks – named for Twin Cities and a nighthawk bird, which “watches over you” – sells tags with built-in GPS tracking software. She initially ordered 200 tiles but said the interest has far exceeded that. The first set of devices is set to be delivered to customers this week.
So how does it work? Customers hide a tag in their car. If a customer’s vehicle gets stolen, they call 911 and provide the law enforcement case number to the company. Within minutes, dispatchers from TC Nighthawks can send the location information to law enforcement.
“We screen-share. So we will have a dispatcher watching it from the minute it is taken until the minute it’s recovered,” Gauthier said.
She also wants to tackle the thefts and carjackings from the systemic side. Recognizing that the thieves are typically teenagers, the company has launched multiple youth programs.
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