Teen pleads guilty to sneaking into Mar-a-Lago

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/teen-pleads-guilty-sneaking-mar-lago/story?id=63331401

An 18-year-old college freshman managed to sneak into President Donald Trump’s Florida country club while the president was there and wandered around before eventually being arrested, according to court documents.

The teen, identified as Mark Lindblom, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor trespassing charge on Thursday stemming from the Nov. 23, 2018, incident.

Lindblom entered the Mar-a-Lago country club through a tunnel that gives club members access under a road and to the beach, The Palm Beach Post reported. Lindblom stood with club members and was wanded for weapons by Secret Service before he was allowed through the tunnel, said Marcos Beaton, an attorney for Lindblom, according to the Post.

PHOTO: President Donald Trumps Mar-a-Lago resort is seen on April 03, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Fla.Joe Raedle/Getty Images
President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is seen on April 03, 2019 in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“This was a youthful indiscretion that, because of the circumstances, amplified the nature of the consequences to Mr. Lindblom and, as we said in Court today, amplified the risks, disruption and potential for catastrophe his decision caused,” Beaton told ABC News in a statement. “We consider this matter closed and have nothing but the highest respect for the job that the United States Secret Service does. Mr. Lindblom simply looks forward to moving on with his life.”

Court documents say Lindblom was on vacation with his family at the time and took photos and video inside the club.

“We have no reason to believe he had a political, criminal or terroristic purpose,” U.S. Attorney John McMillan is quoted by the Post as saying during a hearing Tuesday. “It was a foolish decision he did on a lark.”

Lindblom was given a year probation as part of a plea agreement.

A spokesperson for the University of Wisconsin-Madison confirmed Lindblom is a student there and recently finished the second semester of his freshman year.

The Secret Service said Lindblom did not come into contact with President Trump or the first lady.

“The Secret Service conducts physical screenings to ensure that prohibited and dangerous items are not allowed onto the property of the Mar-a-Lago Club. On Nov. 23, 2018, after undergoing security screening for weapons and other dangerous items, an unauthorized individual gained entry into the Mar-a-Lago Club. The individual did not come into contact with the President or First Lady because of the layered security system in place at the club,” the agency said in a statement.

“Upon unlawfully entering the property, the individual walked to a common area of the club open to members and his actions appeared inconsistent with that of a member or a guest. At that time, Secret Service personnel approached him and he was detained without further incident; ultimately, he was federally prosecuted for unlawful entry. Today marks the closure of the federal prosecution of this case,” the statement continued.

The Department of Justice declined to comment.

Security at Mar-a-Lago has been in the spotlight after a Chinese national named Yujing Zhang was accidentally let in the club because she had the same last name as a club member in March.

She managed to make it to the reception desk before a receptionist realized Zhang was not on the access list.

Zhang has pleaded not guilty to lying to federal agents and entering a restricted area.

ABC News’ Jack Date, Mike Levine, Alex Mallin and Ali Dukakis contributed to this report.