Two college friends of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been indicted for allegedly trying to thwart investigators by throwing away fireworks and other items they found in Tsarnaev's dorm room the day before his capture.
Authorities later discovered the fireworks in a New Bedford landfill, the indictment says.
Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19 and nationals of Kazakhstan, face charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice. The two, who were in the US attending college and shared an apartment, have been detained since they were charged in a criminal complaint in May.
If convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison.
Tsarnaev, 20, is accused of carrying out the April 15 blasts at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 260. He was captured on April 19 in the Boston suburb of Watertown, after he was found hiding in a boat in a backyard, hours after a shoot-out with police. He's pleaded not guilty.
Tazhayakov's lawyer, Arkady Bukh, said his client did nothing wrong and had tried for months to convince authorities to drop the case.
"For me, this sounds like a witch hunt," he said. "And this is the same view my client has."
Kadyrbayev's lawyer, Robert Stahl, said his client never knowingly took evidence from Tsarnaev's dorm room.
"My young client ... was shocked and horrified to learn that someone he knew was involved in the terrible Marathon bombing," he said.
Also on Thursday, a hearing scheduled for Monday for a third Tsarnaev friend charged in the case was cancelled. Robel Phillipos is accused of lying to investigators about visiting Tsarnaev's dorm room. In court documents, his lawyers say they're in talks that could resolve the case.