A Louisiana soldier who built and detonated a chemical weapon was given an 11-year prison sentence on Monday, the Department of Justice revealed.
Earlier this year, Ryan Keith Taylor admitted to setting off a bomb on April 12, 2017, which emitted chlorine gas that seriously injured two investigators.
It is unclear why the 24-year-old set off the weapon in Kisatchie National Forest, where he was stationed, but law enforcements later recovered bomb making notes as well as remnants of an explosive device from his car and apartment, NBC News reported.
The incident was reported to military police by three soldiers who heard the detonation while conducting a training exercise and found Taylor filming the explosion with his cell phone.
Fort Polk military police launched investigations at the blast site and, during the search, two investigators inhaled and touched remnants of the explosive device and chlorine residue.
They received multiple treatments for their injuries, which ended their military careers, the Department of Justice reported.
“In one single day I went from being in peak physical fitness to having 20 percent lung capacity at 25 years old,” said one investigator, Joshua Farbro, according to The American Press. “My military career was over and now I’m told that I’m too much of a medical liability to be considered for employment in any capacity. Everything I had worked so hard for, given my all for, was ripped away from me.”
Taylor was charged with producing, possessing and using a chemical weapon in violation of federal law., the Department of Justice noted last year.
He pleaded guilty in June.
“Today’s sentence holds Taylor accountable for his crime and makes clear that we will not tolerate such conduct,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers in a statement. “I want to thank the agents and prosecutors who are responsible for this result and our military and local law enforcement partners for their significant contributions to this investigation.”
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