Two college friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been named in a federal grand jury indictment for allegedly covering up evidence and impeding the bombing investigation.
USA Today is reporting that the investigation into the April 15 attack at the finish line of the Boston Marathon that left three people dead and injured dozens of others has taken its next major step.
The report said 19-year-olds Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both from Kazakhstan, were named in an indictment for allegedly conspiring to obstruct justice and for obstructing justice.
The suspects have been living in New Bedford, Mass., on student visas.
The report said the indictment could carry a penalty, if the students are convicted, of 25 years in jail as well as deportation.
Prosecutors previously suggested the two took Tsarnaev’s backpack from a dorm room and disposed of it after they found evidence of bomb-baking materials.
Tsarnaev, who also is 19, has pleaded not guilty to dozens of criminal counts related to the attack.
Authorities allege on the evening of April 18, Kadyrbayev got a text message from Tsarnaev to go to the dorm room and “take what’s there.”
The allegations are that the friends took a laptop computer and a backpack with fireworks from Tsarnaev’s room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus.
The prosecutors charge that the friends eventually put the backpack and other items in a garbage bag and dumped it in the trash.
WND earlier reported when Tsarnaev, who has drawn a cult following, was given rock-star treatment in a Rolling Stone magazine cover, drawing widespread criticism.
Tsarnaev, who could face the death penalty, has pleaded not guilty to 30 federal charges, including using a weapon of mass destruction to kill. He and his brother Tamerlan, who was killed in a shootout with police, allegedly placed two deadly bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The Tsarnaevs also are accused of killing MIT police officer Sean Collier after the bombing.