Florida TSA Agent Gary Linder Jr., 27, sent sexually explicit images of himself to a person he thought was an 11-year-old girl. But that 11-year-old girl was really a undercover cop. Linder was a TSA agent at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Linder was sentenced in Miami federal court to 15 years in prison for enticing a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity and attempting to produce child pornography. U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom also gave him 15 years of probation after he is released from prison.
Linder pled guilty to texting sexually explicit messages to a young girl and asking the child for nude photos of herself engaged in sex acts, federal authorities said. Linder told police that he is attracted to young girls between the ages of 6 years old to 14 years old.
In February 2018 Linder began text messaging with a real 11-year-old girl that was a family friend. But after receiving sexually explicit text messages from Linder the girl's father saw it and turned her phone over to law enforcement which in turn launched an undercover investigation.
Prior to the phone turn over Linder asked the girl what color her nipples were, told her to shower with him, and asked for photos of herself masturbating.
During the following months, Linder discussed sexually explicit content with a person he believed to be the girl, according to court records. In several text messages, he requested nude photos of the girl engaged in sex acts.
Linder was unaware that the person receiving the text messages was an undercover agent.
Linder was arrested in April 2018 and pleaded guilty to the two charges in July, leading to his sentencing this week.
The investigation was led by the FBI and Plantation Police Department, with assistance from the Coral Springs and Miramar police departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jodi L. Anton.