Burns Power Washing owner convicted of second charge

2013-12-06T17:00:00Z 2013-12-07T12:49:04Z Burns Power Washing owner convicted of second chargeBy Patrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A Tucson business owner convicted of detonating a chemical bomb in retaliation over a disputed bill was sentenced in a related federal case on Friday in U.S. District Court.

Todd Russell Fries was sentenced to another 60 months in prison after his August conviction on two counts of unlawful possession of unregistered destructive devices.

Fries is already serving 12 years for the chemical-attack conviction.

U.S. District Judge Cindy Jorgenson ordered that 40 months of his new sentence be served at the same time as his current one, but she added 20 months to the end of his prison term.

Fries, 50, former owner of Burns Power Washing, originally was convicted in October 2012 of igniting buckets filled with chlorine and other chemicals in the front and backyards of the former customers who had disputed a $200 charge.

The chemical ignition created a gas cloud and forced the evacuation of residents in the northwest-side neighborhood.

Federal prosecutors originally charged Fries with the unregistered-destructive-devices counts on the same indictment as the chemical attack, but later the charges were split.

At the destructive-devices trial last summer, prosecutors described how Fries made and stockpiled improvised explosive devices using ordinary household items and flash powder.

Federal agents seized at least 24 of the devices, several of which contained BBs and other shrapnel materials.

At the sentencing on Friday, Fries said the homemade bombs were not intended to hurt anyone. Rather, he said the devices were needed to combat a persistent rodent problem.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Beverly Anderson disputed the claim, noting the bombs collectively contained more than 40 times the legal amount.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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