- The Washington Times - Friday, May 27, 2016

A Navy sailor who was charged with two felonies in July after classified images were found on his cellphone is expected to plead guilty Friday in federal court.

Despite no advance warning being made ahead of Friday’s court date, a clerk with the U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, Connecticut, told Politico shortly after 9 a.m. that a change of plea hearing was underway in the case against Petty Officer 1st Class Kristian Saucier.

Petty Officer Saucier was charged last year with one count of unlawful retention of national defense information and one count of obstruction of justice after prosecutors said the sailor used his cellphone to take snapshots in classified engine room on the USS Alexandria, a nuclear submarine where he worked as a mechanic at the time, then attempted to destroy evidence when he learned an investigation had been launched.

The sailor initially pleaded not guilty to both counts, and a jury was selected earlier this month ahead of opening arguments slated to start next week.

Politico’s attempts to reach the defense and prosecution for comment late Thursday were unsuccessful, and the specifics of Mr. Saucier’s change of plea were not immediately available.

A conviction for both counts would carry a maximum prison sentence of 30 years, Politico reported.

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