May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Three men were charged in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation for obstruction of justice and lying to federal investigators in the days after the April 15 attack that killed three and injured more than 200.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, and Robel Phillipos, charged with lying to investigators, are to appear this afternoon in Boston federal court. If convicted, they face as long as five years in prison for obstruction and eight years for lying to investigators.
Two of the three men are originally from Kazakhstan and were friends with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the main suspect in the attack, the U.S. said. Tsarnaev, 19, faces two capital counts, including using a weapon of mass destruction.
Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev allegedly obstructed the investigation by disposing of Tsarnaev’s laptop and a backpack containing fireworks, while Phillipos is accused of making false statements to law enforcement officers during the investigation.
Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev, in the U.S. on student visas, were arrested on April 20 on immigration violations, according to the complaint. Phillipos is a U.S. citizen, a federal official said.
Police in New Bedford, Massachusetts, near the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, said April 22 they believe Tsarnaev spent the two nights after the bombing with acquaintances near campus. Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev’s apartment was cordoned and searched that day.
Tsarnaev, who was injured during a four-day manhunt by police, is in a federal prison hospital outside Boston.
The Tsarnaev brothers, ethnic Chechens who came to the U.S. with their parents as refugees from Russia’s Caucasus region, were motivated by radical Islam they learned mostly over the Internet, according to lawmakers briefed by federal law-enforcement officials.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been interviewing people connected to the brothers. According to a U.S. official, agents on April 29 took DNA samples from Katherine Tsarnaev, the widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother of Dzhokhar and an alleged coconspirator who was killed in the manhunt.
The case is U.S. v. Phillipos, 13-02162, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Boston)
To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Larson in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org; Esme E. Deprez in New York at email@example.com; Justin Blum in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org Janelle Lawrence in Boston federal court at email@example.com.