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Oct 5, 2012 3:37 PM by Ian Cross

Tucson businessman found guilty in chemical weapon attack

TUCSON - The Tucson businessman charged with producing and using chemical weapons to attack a former customer's home has been found guilty on two counts in federal court today.

Todd Fries was found guilty of Prohibition Against Chemical Weapons and False Statements by a jury. Fries will stand trial for two other counts associated with his indictment in January 2013.

As owner of Burns Power Washing, Todd Fries was a prominent businessman. He was arrested in May 2011, charged with producing and using chemical weapons to attack his former customer's home. That attack happened in August 2009. The couple living near Shannon and Magee awoke to find their house covered in Spanish language graffiti and a swastika painted on their garage. They called 911 because they could not get out of the house, someone had sealed the front and garage doors shut. There were also dead animals on the porch, an explosive device nearby and chemicals in the front yard.

The chemical turned out to be chlorine mixed with another substance. Together they created a cloud of toxic gas the size of a football field. Several families had to evacuate while the FBI, Bomb Squad and Pima County Sheriff's Department worked to get it under control.

The victims hired Fries to do some work on their home. The FBI did investigate the attack as a hate crime because the victims are Jewish.

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