Crime News

Friend of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Convicted Of Lying To FBI

A friend of the man accused of detonating two bombs at the Boston Marathon last year was convicted on Tuesday in Boston of lying to FBI agents during their investigation. Prosecutors said the man’s lack of honesty impeded their investigation as they attempted to confirm the location of evidence.

After six days of deliberations, the 12-member federal jury found Robel Phillipos, 21, guilty of two counts of lying to FBI agents when they asked whether he had been in the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth dorm room of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as two friends removed evidence, the New York Times reported.

Friends of Tsarnaev removed a computer and a backpack with fireworks tubes from the dorm room, according to authorities. The two friends, Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both from Kazahkstan, are currently awaiting sentencing on obstruction of justice charges.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Carmen M. Ortiz” author_title=”U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts”]

He lied to agents when he could have helped. He concealed when he could have assisted. It is a crime to lie to law enforcement agents, and that is why Robel Phillipos was charged and why the jury found him guilty today.


Phillipos’ defense attorney argued that he did not intentionally lie to agents but instead had smoked too much marijuana on the day in question and could not accurately answer questions. The defense called friends who said Phillipos had smoked marijuana at least six times that day, Fox News reported.

Mike Dukakis, a former Massachusetts governor and one-time presidential nominee, testified on Phillipos’s behalf.

Phillipos faces up to eight years in prison for each of the two counts he faced. Lying to an FBI agent typically carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison per count, but the federal jury determined he lied during the course of a federal terrorism investigation, which increases the possible sentence.

U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock scheduled sentencing for January 29. He said he saw no reason to change Phillipos’s current release conditions, as he is currently under house arrest, the Boston Globe reported.

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