Three friends of Boston Marathon Bombing suspect accused of concealing evidence, lying to investigators

Court sketches of Boston bombing cover-up suspects Dias Kadyrbayev, 19, Azamat Tazhayakov, 20.  PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
Court sketches of Boston bombing cover-up suspects Dias Kadyrbayev, 19, Azamat Tazhayakov, 20.
PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO

Three friends of accused Boston Marathon terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were arrested today on suspicion of concealing evidence and lying to federal agents in the wake of the deadly bombing.

Dias Kadyrbayev, 19, Azamat Tazhayakov, 20,  both of New Bedford, and Robel Phillipos, 20, of Cambridge, are facing charges of obstruction of justice.

Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov are both accused of removing a backpack containing fireworks and a laptop from Boston Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s dorm. Both were arraigned today in U.S. federal court in Boston, shackled at the wrists and ankles. They face up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

During their court appearance today, they appeared to be frightened young men; both small in stature. They did not speak much during the proceedings, except to say they understood their rights and could afford a lawyer.

Prosecutors said the pair admitted to throwing the evidence into a dumpster outside a Carriage Drive apartment in New Bedford three days after the Marathon Bombing.

Phillipos was specifically charged with lying to investigators during several interviews after Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov allegedly hid Tsarnaev’s belongings. Prosecutors said Phillipos confessed to lying on April 26.

He faces up to eight years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Prosecutors allege that Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev, Kazakhstan nationals who were taken into ICE custody on April 20 for student visa violations, became alarmed on the evening of April 18 when Tsarnaev’s photograph was released by the FBI.

They collectively decided to conceal Tsarnaev’s belongings “because they did not want Tsarnaev to get into trouble,” according to the criminal complaint.

A glimpse at the timeline:

On April 17 - two days after the Boston Marathon attack – Kahyrbayev hung out with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at his Pine Dale Hall dorm at UMass Dartmouth. He noticed Tsarnaev had a short haircut. They chatted and smoked a cigarette. Later that night, Tsarnaev hung out at Tazhayakov’s Carriage Drive apartment in New Bedford – until about midnight.

At 5 p.m. April 18 - The FBI released photographs of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Kadyrbayev got a call from Phillipos, “who told him to put on the news because one of the suspects in the Marathon bombings looked familiar.” Kadyrbayev texted Tsarnaev and told him that he looked liked the suspect on television. Tsarnaev’s responded with “lol,” “you better not text me,” and “come to my room and take whatever you want.”

Around 6 p.m. on April 18 - Kadyrbayev, Tazhayakov and Phillipos went to Tsarnaev’s dorm room (Tsarnaev had apparently just stepped out). A roommate let them in. They were watching a movie when they noticed a backpack containing fireworks – fireworks that had been emptied of powder. They also found a jar of Vaseline That’s when Kadyrbayev allegedly realized that his friend was behind the bombing.

Around 10 p.m. on April 18 - The three men returned to the Carriage Drive apartment in New Bedford and “collectively decided to throw the backpack and fireworks into the trash because they did not want Tsarnaev to get into trouble.”

At 6 a.m. on April 19 - News reports revealed that Tamerlan Tsarnaev was dead. At that point Kadyrbayev allegedly placed Tsarnaev’s items in the trash. The items were later recovered by investigators at the Crapo Hill landfill in New Bedford. The three men were interviewed by law enforcement that day, and later that night, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested in Watertown.

April 20 - Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov were detained by ICE for allegedly violating the terms of student visas.  They have been detained since then, but officially arrested on obstruction of justice charges today.

Kadyrbayev’s lawyer said he is “absolutely denies the charges. Dias assisted the FBI in this investigation. he is just as shocked and horrified by the (bombings) as the rest of the community is,” said Kadyrbayev’s lawyer Robert Stahl. “He did not have anything to do (with the attack).” “He did not know that those items were involved in the bombing,” his lawyer said.

Tazhayakov is enrolled as a student at UMass Dartmouth, where Tsarnaev attended school, but according to school officials, has been suspended pending the outcome of the case. The other two men are not enrolled at the school.

A lawyer for Tazhayakov said his client “feels horrible and is shocked to hear that somebody he knew at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth was involved with the Boston Marathon bombing…. He cooperated fully with authorities and looks forward to the truth coming out with this case… He feels for the people in Boston who have suffered as a result of the Marathon bombing.”

Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev are due back in court on May 14, and Phillipos is due in court Monday.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS

 

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.