Gary Linder of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested by federal agents on April 4 after he allegedly attempted to groom an 11-year-old girl for sexual activity.
Linder, 27, is a TSA worker at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. He is charged with transferring obscene materials to a minor and attempted production of child pornography. The press did not name an attorney for him.
According to the arrest report, Linder and the 11-year-old girl knew each other through her parents. She gave him her phone number in January 2018 and he reportedly tried to groom her for sex by sending her inappropriate text messages. Her parents saw the texts in February and informed authorities.
A detective assigned to the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force assumed the 11-year-old’s identity and continued communicating with Linder. He reportedly sent 1,000 texts, some of which were extremely sexual in nature, including pornographic images of adults, pictures of his erect penis, instructions on how to masturbate, labeled diagrams of female genitals, and descriptions of his sexual fantasies.
Linder purportedly begged the 11-year-old to send him sexual pictures herself with instructions on how to take them, but the undercover detective made excuses and never sent any photos. Linder arranged to meet the girl on April 4 at a park in Plantation with the intention of having sex with her in his car. He was arrested at the site of the supposed rendezvous.
“In summary fashion, Linter told law enforcement that he was texting an 11-year-old child for the past two months and identified the child by name that is Victim 1. Linder admitted to using phone number that was previously identified as communicating with the [undercover officer],” the pre-trial statement said. “Linder admitted to texting Victim 1 in a sexual manner and directing her to produce and transmit digital photographs of herself that were sexually explicit. Linder admitted that he wanted to meet Victim 1 for a sexual encounter.”
Linder reportedly gave investigators a written confession, according to the statement.
“Linder also advised law enforcement that he is attracted to young girls between the ages of 6 years old to 14 years old. Linder also indicated that he had been communicating with several other minors in addition to who he believed was Victim 1. One minor was 16 years old and the other was 14 years old.”
Officials from the TSA told the press that Linder has worked for the agency since November 2016 and that they are in the process of terminating his employment.
Sex Crime Attorney