Tucson man arrested for chemical attack on couple

TUCSON, AZ - A 48-year-old Tucson man is facing federal charges after he allegedly produced and used chemical weapons against a couple.

Todd Russell Fries, also known as Todd Burns, allegedly placed chemical devices in the front and back yard of a couple living on the northwest side of Tucson, according to the indictment.

When ignited, the devices "produced a football-field-sized cloud of chlorine gas that hovered over the neighborhood" and forced the evacuation of a number of families in the area, according to a news release from the U.S. District Attorney's Office, District of Arizona.

Fries was arrested by the FBI Friday morning and faces felony two counts of prohibition against chemical weapons, according to the indictment.

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

The alleged attack occurred in August, 2009 at the home of Myles and Karen Levin, according to the Arizona Daily Star. The couple reportedly had previously had dead animals left in their yard and had anti-semitic graffiti painted on their home.

A conviction carries a penalty of prison time, a fine of $250,000 or both, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
 

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