Three men were arrested and charged today in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings investigation.
Dias Kadyrbayev, 19, and Azamat Tazhayakov, 19, both of New Bedford, Mass., were charged in a criminal complaint with conspiracy to obstruct justice by conspiring to destroy, conceal and cover-up tangible objects belonging to suspected Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, namely a laptop computer and backpack containing fireworks. A third man, Robel Phillipos, 19, of Cambridge, Mass., was charged with willfully making materially false statements to federal law enforcement officials during a terrorism investigation. According to the affidavit accompanying the complaint, Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov are both nationals of Kazakhstan who entered the United States on student visas. Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $250,000 fine. Phillipos, a U.S. citizen, faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Carmen M. Ortiz and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office of the FBI, announced the charges today. This investigation was conducted by the FBI's Boston Division, the Boston Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police and member agencies of the Boston Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is comprised of more than 30 federal, state and local enforcement agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations; U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Secret Service; the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority; and others. In addition, the Watertown, Mass., Police Department, the Cambridge Police Department, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Police Department, the Boston Fire Department, the National Guard and police, fire and emergency responders from across Massachusetts and New England played critical roles in the investigation and response.
The charges contained in the criminal complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.