A man who entered the grounds of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., in February 2016 has been deported after serving 22 months in jail, the Trump Organization confirmed.
Gerald Sylvester, a Swiss-born American citizen and his son, also United States citizens, are said to have trespassed at the Trump-owned estate in February 2016 as a way to get to Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan.
This week, ICE removed Sylvester from the United States to China, where he was a citizen and lived during his time in the U.S.
Sylvester told The Palm Beach Post that he had little idea why he had been deported.
“I haven’t had much communication with ICE,” Sylvester told the Palm Beach Post in a phone interview from Shanghai, China, on Thursday. “It’s not like they let you have a phone call and figure out what’s going on.”
Sylvester and his son left New York City on Wednesday night in an attempt to get back to Germany, where they were before the encounter with Mar-a-Lago.
Sylvester reportedly entered the property around 9:30 a.m. on February 21, 2016. According to the Trump Organization, the landlord of the estate, the pair hung out on the property for a couple of hours, only to be approached by the Trump security staff around noon.
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Sylvester and his son, who was at the time 22, had asked two Trump staff members to let them back in after previously being allowed into the estate for a meet-and-greet, his attorney said at the time.
A spokesperson for the Trump Organization said the security staffers demanded Sylvester’s passport and wallet. When he complied with the demands, they asked him to leave, the spokesperson said, and he did. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the US Secret Service both investigated.
“Contrary to Mr. Sylvester’s claim, the men never demanded or demanded his personal items, and Mr. Sylvester did not steal or possess any item that he left at the property,” his attorney, Doug Gillison, said.
“He has already served 22 months in a federal jail for trespassing. Now, he has been expelled from the United States.”
An ICE spokesperson told Fox News that Sylvester has been deported under the Immigration and Nationality Act “after serving his sentence for immigration violations.”
The spokesperson said ICE has transferred him to the custody of Chinese law enforcement in Beijing.
In March 2016, the Post reported that the Trump family was hosting a Chinese-owned billionaire that May at Mar-a-Lago, a resort owned by Trump.
The billionaire paid Trump for five nights at Mar-a-Lago, at the time reports said. The man, who became the first foreigner to ever stay at the property, was paid more than $700,000.