A pair of friends of alleged Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were indicted by a federal grand jury on Thursday on charges that they obstructed the investigation into the deadly attack.
A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Azamat Tazhayakov and Dias Kadyrbayev, both 19, that charges them with conspiracy to obstruct justice and obstruction of justice, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Both men are nationals of Kazakhstan and lived in New Bedford on student visas.
The two teens met Tsarnaev while attending UMass Dartmouth.
They are accused of discarding items allegedly related to bomb-making that were in Tsarnaev's room.
According to the indictment, Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev "entered Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dormitory room, removed several items from the room, including Tsarnaev’s laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks," and discarded them.
More than 30 agents searched a landfill in the days following the bombing to find the backpack. In it they found fireworks, a jar of Vaseline, a thumb drive and a UMass Dartmouth homework assignment sheet.
On April 18, the day before Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan got into a gun battle with police in Watertown, he allegedly sent Kadyrbayev a test message that was shown to Tazhayakov.
Tsarnaev's text message said, according to the indictment, "If yu [sic] want yu [sic] can go to my room and take what’s there☺ but ight [sic] bro [sic] Salam aleikum."
The Tsarnaev brothers are accused of setting off a pair of bombs on Boylston Street during the Boston Marathon on April 15. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty.
Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev were previously charged in a criminal complaint May 1.
A date has not yet been set for their arraignment.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.