Boston Police: Three More Suspects in Custody
Mark Memmott and Eyder Peralta
Three 19-year-old men - two of them University of Massachusetts Dartmouth college students from Kazakhstan who were friends with Boston bombings suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev - were taken into custody Wednesday by authorities in Boston.
The third individual, an American citizen, was also a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where Tsarnaev was enrolled.
Law enforcement sources told NPR and other news outlets that the three are not suspected of having taken part in the April 15 bombings, which killed three people and wounded more than 250.
Rather, they're accused of having given Tsarnaev help afterward by trying to dispose of damning evidence. They're also accused of having lied to the FBI.
Court documents released at mid-afternoon painted a picture of young men who did not play a part in the bombings but allegedly removed a laptop and some empty fireworks (from which powder may have been removed to make bombs) from Tsarnaev's dorm room.
According to those documents, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov of Kazakhstan, and Robel Phillipos of Cambridge, Mass., knew on April 18 that Tsarnaev was suspected in the bombings and Tazhayakov, at least, believed his friend was one of the bombers.
But the next morning, after it had been widely reported that Tsarnaev was on the run and that his brother Tamerlan had died after a gun battle with police, at least two of the three young men were allegedly involved in throwing away a backpack containing the empty fireworks and laptop that they had reportedly taken from Tsarnaev's dorm room.
The young men agreed to dispose of the evidence, the criminal complaint says, in order to help their friend "avoid trouble." Authorities later found the evidence in a nearby landfill.
Tsarnaev, 19, survived the gun battle with police in Watertown, Mass., on April 19 and was captured later that day after a massive manhunt. His brother Tamerlan, who died, was 26.