Two men connected to the Boston Marathon bombings were indicted by a federal grand jury today for allegedly lying to investigators and disposing of evidence from the dorm room of bomb suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Dias Kadyrbayev, 19, and Azamat Tazhayakov, 19, nationals of Kazakhstan who were residing in New Bedford, Mass., on student visas, are now charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstructing justice with the intent to impede the Boston Marathon bombing investigation.
Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, whose car had a vanity plate of Terrorista#1, were originally arrested on visa violations, but were later charged in connection with the bombings on May 1. They have been held without bail at the Middleton Jail.
Today's charges accuse the men of communicating with Tsarnaev on April 18, 2013, hours after the FBI released photographs of Dzhokhar and his brother Tamerlan dropping backpacks near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Those backpacks contained pressure cooker bombs that were detonated via cell phones, federal prosecutors said, killing three and seriously wounding 260 others. More than a dozen victims lost limbs.
When the photos went out, prosecutors said, Kadyrbayev received a text message from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev suggesting that he go to Tsarnaev's "room and take what's there."
Tazhayakov and another man, Robel Phillipos, according to the indictment, then went to Tsarnaev's dormitory room and took Tsarnaev's laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks, and brought them to Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov's apartment in New Bedford. They dumped the items in a landfill, prosecutors said.
If convicted Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov face up to 20 years in prison on the obstruction of justice count and up to five years in prison on the conspiracy count, each to be followed by up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. They are also facing deportation.
Lawyers for both suspects did not return calls or emails.
Phillipos was also charged with lying to investigators and was scheduled to be in federal court Monday, but the court issued a statement today saying the hearing has been waived and "the parties are engaged in negotiations aimed at possible resolution of this matter."