A UW-Madison student pleaded guilty to sneaking into President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort last fall and apologized this week for wasting Secret Service members’ time.
Mark Lindblom, who was 18 and a college freshman at the time of the incident, got in line with other guests and entered a restricted area of the club in late November. He remained on the property for about 20 minutes until Secret Service agents discovered him, according to court records filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Lindblom entered the resort on Nov. 23, Black Friday, when Trump was visiting his “Winter White House” over the Thanksgiving holiday.
He did not come in contact with the president or first lady Melania Trump, according to a Secret Service statement provided to CNN.
An email sent to Lindblom was not immediately returned Wednesday. A man who answered the phone number listed as Lindblom’s number on the UW-Madison student directory said he was not Lindblom.
University spokeswoman Meredith McGlone confirmed Lindblom is enrolled at UW-Madison without a declared major. She declined to comment on Lindblom’s case in particular, citing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student education records.
Speaking generally, McGlone said any time a student is involved in criminal activity, whether on or off campus, the university reviews the situation and takes appropriate action based on UW-Madison’s conduct policies.
Neither Lindblom nor his family were members of the club. His grandparents were members of a neighboring club, according to the Palm Beach Post, which first reported the story.
A judge sentenced Lindblom Tuesday to one year of probation and a $25 fine. The light sentence was based on prosecutors’ determination that Lindblom meant no harm and made a “foolish decision.”
“I wanted to see how far I could get,” Lindblom told Judge William Matthewman. “These men and women are dedicated to serve us and protect the president. I’m so sorry for wasting their time.”
Matthewman said he was sure Lindblom will “become a productive member of society despite this youthful indiscretion.”
More recently, a Chinese woman, Yujing Zhang, was arrested for making false statements to a federal officer after she gained access to Mar-a-Lago at a time when Trump was not there. Officials found cellphones, a laptop and thumb drive on her in March when they discovered the breach.
Zhang has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.