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Former businessman convicted of possessing 24 explosive devices

TUCSON, AZ – On Aug, 9, 2013, a federal jury in Tucson found Todd Russell Fries, a.k.a. Todd Burns, 50, of Tucson, guilty of two counts of possession of unregistered explosive devices. The case was tried before U.S. District Judge Cindy K. Jorgenson. Sentencing is set for October 18, 2013, before Judge Jorgenson. Fries is already serving a sentence of 151 months after being convicted last year of unlawful possession and use of a chemical weapon and providing false information to the FBI.

According to evidence presented at trial, federal agents executed a search warrant at Fries’ home in Tucson on May 13, 2011, in connection with the investigation related to the chemical weapon charges. Agents discovered 24 explosive devices, three containing added fragmentation, in a bedroom in the Fries residence. The chemical weapon charges stemmed from an incident that occurred on August 2, 2009, when a chlorine chemical device was placed at the home of Fries’ former clients with whom he had a billing dispute. In that incident, the chlorine device produced a huge chlorine-containing cloud that enveloped a neighborhood on the northwest side of Tucson and resulted in the evacuation of the neighborhood.

A conviction for unlawful possession of unregistered devices carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison or not more than a $10,000 fine or both.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department. The prosecution was handled by Beverly K. Anderson, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Tucson.

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