Two friends of marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of obstruction of justice. The two men are not accused of participating in the bombings or its planning, but allegedly tried to hide evidence of Tsarnaev's guilt after they learned he was a suspect.
The two men, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, were arrested back in May along with a third friend, Robel Phillipos. (He was charged with separate crimes.) Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, who are from Kazakstan and came to the U.S. as students, attended college with the younger Tsarnaev, and recognized his photo when the FBI released it to the media. They reportedly went to Tsarnaev's apartment and removed some belongings, including a laptop and backpack filled with fireworks, in a misguided effort to help their friend.
Today's grand jury indictment merely confirms that case against them will go forward to trial, unless they decide to make a deal. The obstruction of justice charges carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, followed by a likely deportation. They could also get another five years for conspiring to obstruct justice.