A federal grand jury in Boston indicted two friends of Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly attempting to destroy evidence after the deadly attack.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19, are students from Kazakhstan who studied at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth on student visas. Both were originally arrested and charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice. They now face additional charges of obstructing justice and aiding and abetting, according to NBC News.
According to the indictment, the two friends allegedly went to Tsarnaev’s dorm room and took his laptop computer and his backpack, which contained remnants of fireworks. They then went back to their apartment and after discussing what their next move was, put the backpack in a garbage bag, which they placed in a dumpster, say prosecutors.
The FBI had previously disclosed that the backpack was found in a landfill in New Bedford. According to the indictment, it took more than 30 federal agents to scour through the landfill to find the backpack.
Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov could, in total, face up to 25 years behind bars if they are convicted of all charges. Robel Phillipos, another friend who has also been accused of lying to FBI officials investigating the removal of evidence, was not mentioned in the indictment.
Last month, Tsarnaev, pleaded not guilty to 30 counts related to the Boston Marathon attack, which killed three people and wounded more than 260. Authorities say Tsarnaev planned and orchestrated the attack with his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died days after the bombing following a shootout with police.
Tsasrnaev could face the death penalty for his alleged crimes.