BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – On Wednesday, three more suspects were charged in connection with the Marathon Bombings, accused of hiding a backpack that belonged to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and lying to investigators.
Investigators say Azamat Tazhayakov, Dias Kadyrbayev and Robel Phillipos concluded from news reports three days after the bombings that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a suspect. According to court papers, they went to Tsarnaev's dorm room and found a backpack with fireworks that had been emptied of powder.
- Complaint against Robel Phillipos
- Complaint against Dias Kadyrbayev/Azamat Tazhayakov
- Press release announcing charges
The documents say that Tazhayakov and Kadyrbayev communicated with Tsarnaev in the days following the bombings that left three dead and more than 260 wounded.
Tazhayakov said he had hung out with Tsarnaev at his apartment until about midnight on April 17, just two days after the bombings. On Thursday, April 18, he told investigators that Tsarnaev had given him a ride home.
Hours later, the FBI released photos of Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan, at the Boston Marathon and appealed to the public for help in locating them.
Kadyrbayev told investigators that he was driving from Boston to New Bedford when he spoke with Robel Phillipos on the phone. Phillipos told him that he believed one of the men in the photos released by the FBI looked like Tsarnaev.
Investigators said that later that night Kadyrbayev, Tazhayakov and Phillipos met at the UMass Dartmouth campus and went to Tsarnaev's Pine Hall dorm room. When they arrived at the room, Tsarnaev's roommate told them that he had left a few hours earlier.
While watching a movie in the dorm room, Kadyrbayev said he noticed a backpack containing fireworks without any powder. He said that when he saw the backpack he knew Tsarnaev was involved in the bombings.
Kadyrbayev said he texted Tsarnaev saying he looked like the guy in the photos. Tsarnaev texted him back, saying "lol" and "come to my room and take whatever you want."
The three told investigators that they decided to take the backpack, fireworks, and Tsarnaev's laptop out of the room.
Later, the three said they were watching news reports and decided to throw the backpack and fireworks away.
On April 26, investigators found the backpack containing fireworks, a jar of Vaseline and a UMass Dartmouth homework assignment from a class Tsarnaev was enrolled in at a New Bedford landfill.
The three aren't accused of any direct involvement in the bombing, but according to court papers, the FBI said that about a month before the bombing, Tsarnaev told two of them that he knew how to make a bomb.
Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov, both from Kazakhstan, were taken into custody on immigration violations on April 19. A lawyer for Kadyrbayev said he had not been attending classes in violation of his student visa. They face a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Phillipos was charged with making false statements in a terrorism investigation. He faces eight years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
UMass Dartmouth released a statement saying Kadyrbayev and Phillipos are not currently enrolled at the school. They say Tazhayakov is enrolled, but was placed on suspension pending the outcome of the case.
Both Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov waived bail in court Wednesday. They are scheduled to be back in court on May 14. Kadyrbayev's attorney said the two young men have been interviewed by FBI agents and that they were cooperating.
Phillipos was held for a hearing Monday. SKYFOX was over Essex County Correctional Facility Wednesday afternoon as all three men were removed from a van and brought inside.
Speaking outside court, Kadyrbayev's attorney said his client did not know items he removed from Tsarnaev's dorm room were connected to a bombing.
Phillipos' attorney, Derege Demissie, reiterated the charges filed against his client.
"The only allegation is he made a misrepresentation," said Demissie.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are accused of planting two explosives near the marathon finish line April 15, killing three people and injuring more than 260.
Tamerlan, 26, died following a desperate a getaway attempt in Watertown. Dzhokhar escaped but was found Friday hiding out in a boat.
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