Tucson man charged in chemical attack

Published: May. 13, 2011 at 10:42 PM MST|Updated: May. 20, 2011 at 12:10 AM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - A Tucson man is under arrest on charges of making and using chemical weapons.

FBI agents raided his property on the West Side. It's a case nearly two years in the making.

Todd Russell Fries is accused of launching a chlorine gas attack in a Northwest Side neighborhood in August of 2009.

The FBI investigated that attack, which involved not only a chlorine gas bomb of sorts, but also anti-Semitic graffiti and animal carcasses found near the home, authorities said.

A football-field-sized cloud of chlorine gas hovered over the neighborhood and resulted in the evacuation of numerous families in the area, according to archived

[Click here for KOLD.com's coverage of the 2009 incident]

[Click here to read the 2009 Marana Police report]

Fries is charged with two counts of making and using chemical weapons.

He's also known as Todd Burns, the registered owner of Burns Power Washing Service.

FBI agents searched his home, west of Silverbell on El Camino del Cerro, Friday morning.

The 2009 attack happened at a home near Shannon and Magee. Several people in the neighborhood had to be evacuated. Some were taken to the hospital. Investigators accuse Fries of targeting a couple's home in 2009.

The FBI spent Friday searching his home in the 5300 block of West El Camino del Cerro. They also searched several vehicles on the property. The FBI is not saying what they have found.

There is video of the suspect in an online ad for his Burns Power Washing Service. In the ad, Fries says, "I'm Todd from Burns Power Washing Service."

U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke said in a news release "This defendant developed and executed a chlorine gas attack that impacted an entire neighborhood and had the potential to cause tremendous harm and fear."

A neighbor who has lived next door to Fries for eight years is wary of him.

Sparky Waters says of a wall that divides his property from Fries', "I didn't have that wall up the whole time, and he used to walk through here. I put that wall up because of him, because he'd walk through here."

A conviction could get Fries could prison time, a $250,000 fine, or both.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office says additional charges could be filed.

Copyright 2011 KOLD. All rights reserved.