Three 19-year-old college friends of one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers were charged with hindering the investigation in the days after the April 15 attack by throwing away evidence and lying to police.
Bloomberg reports that Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov were charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, and Robel Phillipos was charged with lying to investigators. They appeared Wednesday in Boston federal court. If convicted, they face as long as five years in prison for obstruction and eight years for false statements.
Two of the three men are from Kazakhstan and were friends with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the main suspect in the attack that killed three people and injured more than 200. The three men arrested and charged Wednesday all agreed to voluntary detention. Along with Tsarnaev, 19, the four men were students at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Tsarnaev faces two capital counts, including using a weapon of mass destruction.
Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev allegedly sought to block the investigation by removing Tsarnaev’s laptop and a backpack containing fireworks. Robert Stahl, a lawyer for Kadyrbayev, and Tazhayakov’s attorney, Harlan Protass, said their clients will plead not guilty.
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