Town of Palm Beach News

Teenager Snuck Into Mar-a-Lago During Presidential Visit

In November, during one of President Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago, an eighteen-year-old college freshman snuck into the club and wandered the grounds for twenty minutes before he was arrested, as first reported by the Palm Beach Daily News.

On Tuesday, Mark Lindblom told a federal magistrate that his only motivation when he decided to try and enter the club was to see if he could do it. The Washington, D.C. teenager said he didn’t have any evil intentions.

According to accounts from Lindblom’s attorney and a federal prosecutor, entering the club was actually pretty easy.

Lindblom was visiting his grandparents, who are members of the nearby Palm Beach Bath & Tennis club, when he snuck into Mar-a-Lago. The teenager walked down the beach the two clubs share.

According to Lindblom’s attorney, Marcos Beaton, when he arrived at a tunnel under State Road A1A that gives Mar-a-Lago members exclusive access to the beach, Lindblom stood in line with club members who were waiting to pass through a metal detector manned by Secret Service agents.

“Mr. Lindblom was wanded by Secret Service agents and he walked on through,” Beaton said.

Teenager Snuck Into Mar-a-Lago During Presidential Visit

Lindblom’s being allowed to simply walk right onto Mar-a-Lago’s grounds raises questions about the Secret Service’s ability to protect Trump during his frequent visits to the members-only club he has dubbed the Winter White House.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John McMillan and Secret Service agent Leo Fridella declined to comment on Lindbolm’s ability to gain access to Mar-a-Lago, which was under tight security because of President Trump’s Thanksgiving visit.

“I can say it wouldn’t happen today,” McMillan said. He referred questions to officials at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. They weren’t immediately available for comment.

Although the Secret Service doesn’t determine who is allowed to enter the club, they conduct physical screenings to make sure no prohibited items—such as weapons—are allowed onto the property.

In Lindblom’s case, there is no indication he was planning to do any harm, McMillan told U.S. Magistrate William Matthewman.

After the Secret Service arrested Lindblom, they conducted a background search, but found nothing suspicious.

“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, who is studying business at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, admitted this. “I wanted to see how far I could get,” he told Matthewman.

Related >>> Former Employee Sues Mar-a-Lago

Lindblom said he didn’t realize the effect his actions would have on federal agents. After learning more about the Secret Service, he regrets his actions on the day after Thanksgiving.

“These men and women are dedicated to serve us and protect the president,” Lindblom said. “I’m so sorry for wasting their time.”

The teenager pleaded guilty to a charge of entering or remaining in a restricted building or grounds. Matthweman could have sent Lindblom to jail for six months, but instead he placed him on probation for one year. McMillan and Fridella supported the lenient sentence.

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Alanna Barrett

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