A Navy sailor was sentenced Friday to a year in prison for taking photos of classified areas inside a nuclear attack submarine while it was in port in Connecticut, the AP reports. Kristian Saucier pleaded guilty in May to unauthorized detention of defense information and had faced five to six years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Saucier admitted to taking six photos of classified areas inside the USS Alexandria in 2009. The photos showed the nuclear reactor compartment, the auxiliary steam propulsion panel, and the maneuvering compartment, prosecutors said. Saucier took the photos knowing they were classified, but did so only to be able to show his family and future children what he did while he was in the Navy, his lawyers said.
Federal prosecutors said the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service were never able to determine if the photos had been distributed to unauthorized people because Saucier destroyed key evidence including his laptop computer, a camera, and a memory card after an interview with the FBI in 2012. Prosecutors asked the judge to send Saucier to prison for five years, saying his conduct put national security at risk. The investigation began in 2012 when a waste station supervisor found Saucier's cellphone with the submarine photos on top of a pile of trash. Saucier compared his case to Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. (Read more nuclear submarine stories.)