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Friend Who Had Dinner with Alleged Marathon Bombers After Blasts Charged

Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, was charged with lying to investigators and destroying evidence.

The scene of last year's Boston Marathon bombings. File photo.
The scene of last year's Boston Marathon bombings. File photo.
Authorities have charged a Quincy man with helping the Boston Marathon bombing suspects evade capture.

Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, was charged with lying to investigators and destroying evidence. He was scheduled to appear in court Friday at 2 p.m.

Read the indictment against Matanov above.

Authorities said Matanov was friends with bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He allegedly had dinner with the pair hours after the bombings. When authorities released the suspects' photos, Matanov allegedly lied to investigators about his friendship with the pair and deleted information from his computer.

"Matanov allegedly ... took a series of steps to impede the FBI’s investigation into the extent of his friendship, contact, and communication with the suspected bombers," U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in a statement. "He shared the suspected bombers’ philosophical justification for violence."

Matanov was not charged with planning or helping to carry out the attack.

Matanov, a Kyrgyzstan citizen, entered the U.S. legally in 2010, according to the indictment. He has lived in Massachusetts and worked as a cab driver.

FBI officers broke open the door to Matanov's apartment on Common Street in Quincy early Friday morning, WHDH/7News reported. He was a driver for Braintree Checker Cab, according to WHDH.

In addition to Matanov, three of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's friends were also charged with helping the suspects evade police.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is set to go on trial in November. His brother was killed in a gunfight with authorities.

Below is Ortiz's statement on Matanov's charges:
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A Quincy man has been charged with obstructing the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, of Quincy, is charged in an indictment that was unsealed today, with one count of destroying, altering, and falsifying records, documents, and tangible objects in a federal investigation, specifically information on his computer, and three counts of making materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements in a federal terrorism investigation.

It is alleged that, after the release of the photos of the suspected bombers in the late afternoon of Thursday, April 18, 2013, and again early in the morning of Friday, April 19, 2013, Matanov realized that the FBI would likely want to talk with him because of his ties to the bombers, especially in the week following the bombings. Matanov allegedly then took a series of steps to impede the FBI’s investigation into the extent of his friendship, contact, and communication with the suspected bombers, and the fact that he shared the suspected bombers’  philosophical justification for violence. In addition to deleting information from his computer, Matanov made a number of false statements to federal investigators.

The indictment does not charge Matanov with participating in the Marathon bombings or knowing about them ahead of time.

The maximum sentence for the count of destruction of evidence is 20 years in prison and eight years for each false statement count. All four counts also carry a maximum of three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Boston Field Division; and Superintendent William Taylor of the Lowell Police Department, made the announcement today. This investigation was conducted by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which is composed of officers from other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Assistance in the investigation was also provided by the Boston Police, Braintree Police, Waltham Police and Quincy Police Departments; the Massachusetts State Police; Customs Border Protection; and Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

The case is being prosecuted by Scott L. Garland and Aloke S. Chakravarty of Ortiz’s Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit.

The details contained in the Indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Matt May 30, 2014 at 02:06 PM
The President enforces immigration laws? I thought INS and the judicial system does that.
Jason Claffey May 30, 2014 at 02:29 PM
Hi Kathleen, The U.S. Attorney's office said Matanov was a legal resident of the U.S. after moving here in 2010 from Kyrgyzstan. You can find more information in the indictment posted above the story.
Kathleen May 30, 2014 at 03:03 PM
Yes Matt, the INS and the judicial system are supposed to enforce immigrations laws but they don't. And they don't because our President is pressuring them to grant amnesty to illegal aliens who are breaking the same laws that the judicial system and INS are supposed to be enforcing ...They all ultimately report to him. The buck stops with him. And Jason, the press is not disclosing what they mean by "a legal resident of the U.S." The legal process for citizenship takes years to go through so I highly doubt he is a naturalized citizen. My question is whether he had a valid Visa (not here on an expired one) when the bombings took place a year ago. Just wondering...
Brian F Hickman May 30, 2014 at 06:32 PM
Matanov told a witness that he would justify the marathon bombing if Islam or the Taliban set the bombs off. He also told other cabbies that he thought the brothers were innocent after a dinner with them a few hours after the BOMBING! His "POLITICAL ASYLUM" should have been revoked at that point! These are bad, bad enemies of our country!!
Johnson June 09, 2014 at 08:09 PM
Maybe he tried to poison their food but failed. you never know people

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