New York (AFP) - A 28-year-old US Navy serviceman has been charged with allegedly taking unlawful photographs of a nuclear submarine and trying to cover up evidence, prosecutors said Friday.
Kristian Saucier was arrested in May and released on a $100,000 bond, charged with unlawfully retaining photographs of the USS Alexandria and obstructing investigators.
In 2009, as a then machinist's mate, Saucier allegedly took photos on his cellphone of classified areas and equipment on board the vessel at a naval base in Groton, Connecticut.
In March 2012, his phone was found at a waste transfer station in Hampton, Connecticut, said Deirdre Daly, US attorney for the district of Connecticut.
After Saucier was questioned by the FBI and Navy investigators that July, Saucier destroyed a laptop, a personal camera and the camera's memory card, prosecutors said.
Pieces of a laptop were found in the woods on a property owned by a member of his family, they added.
Saucier is currently a Petty Officer First Class assigned to a naval base in Saratoga Springs, New York.
The charge of unauthorized retention of defense information carries a maximum sentence of 10 years and obstruction of justice 20 years.