The U.S. Attorney announced on Friday that a fifth person has been arrested in connection to the Boston Marathon bombings in April of last year. Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, was charged with obstructing the investigation into the attack. He is not charged with anything that indicates he knew about the attack ahead of time, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
Specifically, Matanov faces one count of destruction of evidence, and three counts of making false statements, according to a report from WBZ-TV citing the U.S. Attorney's office. The former charge could put him in jail for 20 years; each of the false statement charges have a maximum sentence of 8 years. In a statement to WBZ-TV, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, who is prosecuting the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, said the following:
"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."
According to the U.S. Attorney's office, his first court appearance will be at 2 p.m. today. Three other friends of the Tsarnaev brothers have previously been arrested and charged with a variety of similar crimes, including obstruction and tampering with evidence. None are accused of taking part in the actual bombing.