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Worker who set fire to nuclear submarine, causing millions in damage, gets 17 years

Dover Police Department / AP

Casey Fury, of Portsmouth, N.H., a former shipyard worker.

A shipyard worker was sentenced to 17 years in prison by a Maine court on Friday after he admitted setting fire to a docked nuclear sub and causing $450 million in damage last year.

Casey James Fury, 25, was ordered to pay $400 million in restitution, the Associated Press reported.

Fury pleaded guilty to two arson counts in a plea agreement. He faced up to 19 years for setting the May 23 fire that damaged the USS Miami, a Los Angeles-class nuclear submarine, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.

Repairs to the USS Miami have been delayed because of sequestration defense cuts, according to the AP. The blaze drew more than 100 firefighters. Seven people were injured fighting the flames, but there were no deaths.

Fury, who worked as a civilian painter and sand blaster, told investigators he had set the May 23 fire in an affidavit filed on July 22, 2012 in the York County District Court. Fury told investigators that he was taking medications for depression and anxiety, according to the complaint.

Fury also admitted to setting a second fire outside the docked submarine on June 16. After initially denying setting the June fire, he admitted to starting the second blaze after being pressed by investigators, according to the July complaint. He had been anxious to leave work after he “began texting his former girlfriend and attempted to convince her that the guy she was seeing was not just a friend like she had been claiming,” according to the complaint.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.