A Quick Look At The Complaints Against Kadyrbayev, Tazhayakov, and Phillipos

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Massachusetts has just filed two criminal complaints arising from the Boston Marathon bombing investigation. One complaint is against two men, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov. The other complaint is against one man, Robel Phillipos.

Documents are already available on PACER.

The current docket (the record of court actions in the case, with links to documents) is here in the case against Kadybayev and Tazhayakov. The complaint cover sheet against them is here. The affidavit in support of the complaint against them — which has an FBI agent's statement of the evidence supplying probable cause — is here.

The docket in the case against Pillipos is here. The complaint against him is here. The affidavit — which appears at a brief glance to be the same one from the case against the other two men – is here.

The first complaint charges Kadybayev and Tazhayakov with a conspiracy to violate federal law in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 371 — the generic federal conspiracy statute. The object of the conspiracy — the federal law the defendants are alleged to have conspired to violate — is destruction of evidence in a federal investigation in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 1519.

The second complaint charges Phillipos with making a false statement to the government in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 1001.

Read the affidavit yourself. Very briefly, the affidavit alleges that Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov saw emptied-out fireworks in accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's room, concluded that he was one of the Boston Marathon bombers, and decided to dispose of the container of hollowed-out fireworks, apparently to protect Tsarnaev. Phillipos, the FBI alleges, gave multiple statements and initially lied about what he knew of actions by Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov.

A few points:

1. They may or may not have their first appearance today, May 1st. here's what I wrote about how a first appearance works and what happens next.

2. Why did they charge Phillipos separately? It's too early to say. They may be cutting him out from the other two to testify against them, they may be avoiding "misjoinder" (putting together different charges and defendants that don't belong together) even though it's premature to worry about that before the indictment, or there may be some other strategic reason.

3. Remember how I said earlier today that you should shut up rather than talk to the feds, because you'll just wind up (1) confessing, (2) making a stupid false statement that will make you look guilty, or (3) make a stupid false statement that will get you charged with making a stupid false statement? Yeah. This is what I was talking about.

4. The same magistrate judge signed off on the complaints. I'm going to have to come up with more conspiracy theories.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. Nicholas Weaver says

    OK, so only one of the three (Phillipos) is charged only with "talking lying to the FBI".

    Boy, you really NEVER EVER EVER want to talk to the cops.

  2. KC says

    Looking forward to more conspiracy theories! What are we up to now, 5 "lone wolves" plus some mysterious female DNA?

  3. KC says

    And in your previous post, you point out the danger of saying ANYTHING to the feds – if one's statement is not consistent with what they believe to be the truth, you will be charged with the felony of lying to federal agents. Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby are prime examples.

  4. says

    You should especially not talk to the Feds if your story is so stupid and transparently provable false that there is no way the truth won't come out.

    Any chance they would have come out fairly unscathed if they had lawyered up and/or admitted to being stupid during an emotional moment about their friends?

  5. says

    The and/or part means I assume a good lawyer would have had them come clean pretty damn quick once he knew it would all come out anyway.

  6. MattS says

    "I'm going to have to come up with more conspiracy theories."

    Please leave the conspiracy theories to the CIA meta conspiracy.

    /tinfoil hat^2

  7. Steve Florman says

    I love it when I'm catching up on Popehat posts and I get to the bottom of one, and see in the "Most Recent" list that a new one has been posted while I was reading. Dang, it's like Christmas – which I, despite my Mormon non-trinitarianism, celebrate along with Patrick and 273 million other Americans. :)

  8. Nicholas Weaver says

    Steve: Now all it will take is a Prenda Lunacy Update, and this day will be complete…

  9. Nobody says

    > Now all it will take is a Prenda Lunacy Update, and this day will be complete…

    I just checked recap, but all I see are the statements saying they join Paul Duffy in complaining about the propriety of admitting evidence that makes them look like weasel crap. Am I the only one who pictures those "I'm with stupid" t-shirts when they read all those statements where all they do is say that they join Duffy in making the same arguments?

  10. bkd69 says

    These are obviously camouflage charges to mask what they already know about their Chechen handlers.

  11. BradnSA says

    Why wouldn't the foreigners be on a plane to gitmo to find out what they know instead of being charged with obstruction? Doesn't seem like much of a charge.

  12. BradnSA says

    @ken 4:59 Not literally, but what about accessory after the fact or something that would seem like a stronger charge than obstuction. I read somewhere that they got rid of computers also.

    I obviously know nothing about the law, so I read the post at here and Volokh. Thanks in advance.

  13. Tarrou says

    Wow, it's a fucking avalanche of lone wolves these days! It's pretty crazy coincidence that a suspected bomber heads "home" to an area ridden with terrorist training camps for six months. Then you've got extra people handling the explosives, others running cleanup. I tell ya, these folks have some sort of cleaning fetish. Really shocking how well all these disparate people managed to have a hand in a bombing without any organization. I mean, that's better coordination than you get from most branches of government. Perhaps there's some sort of overmind, probably conservative republican, controlling all these random acts.