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Soldier pleads guilty to making chemical weapon, detonating it near base

Ryan Keith Taylor, 24, faces life in prison after pleading guilty on Monday, June 11, 2018, to producing, possessing and using a chemical weapon.

COURTESY OF VERNON PARISH SHERIFF'S OFFICE

By ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 12, 2018

LAKE CHARLES, La.  — A soldier has pleaded guilty to making and detonating explosives that released chlorine gas in a forest near an Army base in Louisiana last year.

U.S. Attorney David Joseph's office says 24-year-old Ryan Keith Taylor, of New Llano, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison after pleading guilty on Monday to producing, possessing and using a chemical weapon.

Authorities said Taylor set off explosives that released toxic gas into the air in Kisatchie National Forest, adjacent to Fort Polk, on April 12, 2017.

A court filing says a military police investigator felt his skin burning while collecting samples at the blast site. The filing says the investigator was permanently injured and must be medically discharged from the military.

A federal judge is scheduled to sentence Taylor on Sept. 12.

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