Ryan Keith Taylor, 24, of New Llano, Louisiana, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey for producing, possessing and using a chemical weapon in violation of federal law.
He was sentenced to 135 months in prison and five years of supervised release.
The prosecution was handled by U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel J. McCoy, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis E. Robinson and Trial Attorney David Cora of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism section.
“Supporting and protecting our soldiers is of utmost importance to my office,” Joseph stated. “Those serving our country put their lives on the line daily to protect us. They should not be put in danger needlessly. 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. I want to thank our U.S. military, federal and local law enforcement for their combined effort investigating this case and bringing this defendant to justice.”
On the morning of April 12, 2017, Taylor manufactured a chemical bomb in close proximity to Fort Polk in the Kisatchie National Forest.
The device was detonated by Taylor and contained hazardous chlorine gas.
Three nearby soldiers investigated the explosion, where they found Taylor filming the explosion on his cell phone.
They questioned Taylor and reported the incident to Fort Polk Military Police.
When the investigators arrived at the scene they discovered a rock coated in an unknown substance.
Following standard procedure, they collected the rock and placed it in a plastic bag.
Soon after the bag popped and began to melt one investigators boots, burn his skin and render him unable to breathe.
The other investigator came into contact with the substance at the scene and showed the same symptoms shortly thereafter. Both were given medical treatment, however, the incident ended both of their military careers.
Taylor was detained soon after and a search of his home and vehicle found several bomb-making materials, notes, and instructions on how to manufacture chemical weapons.
“Taylor produced and detonated a chemical bomb near Fort Polk, causing injury to his fellow soldiers who responded to and investigated the incident,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers. “Today’s sentence holds Taylor accountable for his crime and makes clear that we will not tolerate such conduct. 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.”
The investigation was a combined effort from the U.S. Army Directorate of Emergency Services, Military Police, Criminal Investigation Command, and Military Intelligence/Army Counterintelligence Gulf Coast at Fort Polk, Louisiana; the FBI and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force; the Louisiana State Police; the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office and local police and fire agencies in Vernon Parish working in conjunction.