| Crime |

Tucson Man, Shorted $200 for a Power-Washing Job, Convicted in Attacks Involving Chemicals, Feces, Dead Animals, and More

About four years ago, Todd Fries, the owner of Burns Power Washing, was shorted $200 for a power-washing job because his customers didn't think Fries' employees did such a great job.

Fries responded to this lack of payment by spreading things outside the customers' home including (but not limited to) motor oil, grease, feces, dead animals, foam packing peanuts, spray-painted swastikas, and on another occasion, "buckets of burning, gas-emitting" debris.

A federal jury found Fries guilty today of "unlawful possession and use of a chemical weapon," as well as providing false information to the FBI.

After the victims didn't send the final payment to Fries, the victims woke up on November 1, 2008, and found the strange mixture of greasy things, feces, and dead animals -- several of which were identified as woodpeckers -- spread across the driveway, leading to the front door. The garage door was also sealed shut with some sort of adhesive.

Police initially thought it was a hate crime, since swastikas and slurs were spray-painted on the house and driveway.

Nearly a year later, after the victims moved to another community, the Pima County Sheriff's Department got several calls about a chlorine smell and a "huge white cloud that enveloped the neighborhood," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Again, there was a slime made of grease, oils, and packing peanuts smeared in front of their house. Again, there were more dead woodpeckers and other assorted animal carcasses in the front yard. This time, the front door, windows, and garage door were all sealed shut with expanding foam.

The chlorine smell turned out to actually be chlorine, which was produced by placing an acid and some other substance inside buckets left outside the victims' home.

Fries was busted after leaving an ID at the crime scene, then someone called the FBI pretending to be a woman and ratted out the guy whose ID Fries had left at the scene.

The chemical-weapon charge alone could land Fries in prison for life. His sentencing his scheduled for December 14.

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