Sept. 25 (UPI) -- A U.S. soldier has been sentenced to 11 years for manufacturing and detonating a chemical weapon near an Army base in Louisiana, the Justice Department announced Monday.
Ryan Keith Taylor, 24, pleaded guilty in June to detonating a device containing chlorine gas in the Kisatchie National Forest near Fort Polk Army Installation on April 12, 2017. He used his cellphone to record the explosion, which was heard by three soldiers who were training nearby.
After the soldiers reported the incident to military police, investigators examined the scene. One investigator placed a rock covered in an unknown substance inside a plastic bag.
"The bag immediately popped and the investigator's plastic gloves and boots began to melt," prosecutors said. "He also began to experience difficulty breathing and his skin started burning."
Taylor was arrested and law enforcement agents found bomb-making notes, materials and chemical residue inside his vehicle, apartment and a storage building.
Prosecutors said two people inhaled the chlorine gas and suffered injuries that forced them to end their military careers.
"The chemical weapon the defendant created in this case is banned under international and national laws because of its terrible effects on the human body," U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph said in a statement.
After his sentence, Taylor will serve five years on probation.