(UPDATE) Three more Marathon bombing suspects to appear in court
Three UMass Dartmouth students were charged Wednesday in connection with the deadly Boston Marathon bombings for allegedly hiding items from Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s UMass Dartmouth dorm room and lying to federal authorities.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19 and of New Bedford, were charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice by conspiring to destroy, conceal and cover up tangible objects belonging to Tsarnaev.
Robel Phillipos, 19, of Cambridge, was charged with willfully making materially false statements to federal law enforcement officials during a terrorims investigation.
The men will make an initial appearance in federal court in Boston at 3:30 p.m., according to the US Attorney’s office.
All three men and Tsarnaev started attending UMass Dartmouth at the same time, authorities said in court documents.
Authorities said Kadybayev and Tazhayakov concealed Tsarnaev’s laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks. They face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Phillipos faces a maximum sentence of eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Authorities, in a federal criminal complaint released Wednesday, said Kadybayev and Tazhayakov took fireworks, a backpack and a laptop computer from Tsarnaev’s dorm room three days after the bombings. The took the items after seeing pictures of Tsarnaev and his brother on thew news and after Kadybayev received a text message from Tsarnaev that said “I’m about to leave if you need something in my room take it,” authorities wrote in their complaint.
After seeing that Tsarnaev’s older brother was killed and there was a manhunt for the younger suspect in Watertown, the duo threw out the backpack and fireworks. When questioned by authorities, Phillipos, who also went to Tsarnaev’s dorm with the other two suspects, allegedly lied to authorities about taking the items.
At 11:38 a.m., about 30 minutes after making the initial announcement about the arrests, Boston Police tweeted, “Please be advised there is no threat to the public.”
“Please be advised that there is not threat to public safety. Three additional suspects have been taken into custody in connection to the attack on the Boston Marathon. Aside from the aforementioned, there is no additional info to release at this time. Additional details will be provided when they become available,” Boston Police said in a statement.
The 19-year-old Tsarnaev is in fair condition at a federal medical center in Fort Devens. He is charged with use of a weapon of mass destruction. His older brother and fellow suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed during a gunfight with police April 19.
Three people were killed and about 260 others were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15.
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