Arraignment of Anita S. Castelo for Illegal Munitions Trafficking
August 13, 1986
S. Castelo, a member of the Executive Residence
staff, was placed on administrative leave Thursday, August 7, after the White
House was advised by law enforcement agencies that she had been charged by
complaint in the U.S. District Court in Richmond, VA, with aiding and abetting
the illegal exportation of munitions under provisions of 22 U.S.C. 2778 and 18
U.S.C. 2. The President and Mrs. Reagan were informed of the charges against
Mrs. Castelo the same day.
Castelo was arraigned in Richmond on Friday, August 8,
after voluntarily surrendering and entering a plea of not guilty. She was
released by the court on personal bond. And she waived her preliminary hearing
in U.S. District Court in Richmond, Tuesday, August 12.
Two Paraguayan nationals were also charged. Although Mrs. Castelo's
duties did not involve any responsibility for classified information, as a
precautionary measure, she was debriefed by the U.S. Secret Service to ensure
that her activities did not entail any breach of national security. The Secret
Service has concluded that there was no evidence of a breach of security.
Castelo, who was born in Paraguay and became a
naturalized citizen in 1967, has served on the Residence staff since 1981. She
is married to Manuel Castelo, a naturalized
Portuguese, and prior to coming to the White House, was employed as a part-time
housekeeper at Blair House from 1968 to 1981. While on administrative leave,
Mrs. Castelo will receive pay and full benefits
pending the resolution of this matter. Since these charges are the subject of
further legal action in the courts, we will have no further comment.