A 19-year-old college student pleaded guilty to tricking Secret Service agents into allowing him onto Mar-a-Lago property while President Donald Trump was visiting the resort over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Mark Lindblom, a business major at the University of Wisconsin, apologized to a federal magistrate on Tuesday for his actions that he said weren’t intended to harm anyone, the Palm Beach Post reported.
“I wanted to see how far I could get,” Lindblom told Magistrate Judge William Matthewman, according to the newspaper.
The incident occurred while Lindblom was visiting his grandparents who are members of the nearby Palm Beach Bath & Tennis Club, which shares a beach with Mar-a-Lago.
What are the details?
On Nov. 23, Lindblom reportedly walked down the beach and into a security line where Mar-a-logo club members pass through a metal detector before re-entering the club’s property.
“Mr. Lindblom was wanded by Secret Service agents and he walked on through,” lawyer Marcos Beaton told the court, according to the newspaper.
The college student was on the club’s property for about 20 minutes before he was arrested near the pool.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John McMillan told Matthewman that Lindblom took some photos on his cellphone while he wandered around the club.
“We have no reason to believe he had a political, criminal or terroristic purpose,” McMillan said. “It was a foolish decision he did on a lark.”
Lindblom reportedly cooperated with agents during his arrest.
Security has since been tightened to prevent future trespassers from sneaking into the club, McMillan said.
What else did Lindblom say about the incident?
Lindblom said he was unaware of the dangers that Secret Service agents face until he watched an online video of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981.
These men and women are dedicated to serve us and protect the president,” he told the court, according to the Palm Beach Post. “I’m so sorry for wasting their time.”
Matthewman reminded Lindblom that he could have been shot had the Secret Service agents believed he posed a threat.
“The result of one person slipping by with an evil motive can be just disastrous,” he said.
What was Lindblom’s sentence?
Lindblom received one year of probation for entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds. He faced up to six months in jail.
“I’m sure you’ll become a productive member of society despite this youthful indiscretion,” Matthewman told Lindblom.