Charges for Obstructing Boston Bomb Probe

BOSTON — A Quincy, Massachusetts, man has been charged with obstructing the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Khairullozhon Matanov, 23, is charged in an indictment 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.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Vincent B. Lisi of the FBI’s Boston field division and Superintendent William Taylor of the Lowell Police Department made the announcement. This investigation was conducted by members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes 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 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.

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