The United States has deported a friend of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who helped hide evidence as police were looking for the suspects in the fatal blasts.
Dias Kadyrbayev, 24, left the U.S. on a commercial flight on Oct. 23, and arrived in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Oct. 24 "without incident," according to a statement issued late last week by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Kadyrbayev pleaded guilty in August 2014 to removing items from Tsarnaev's Massachusetts dorm room after the bombing, including a laptop computer and a backpack with gutted fireworks, as police were searching for Tsarnaev and his older brother Tamerlan.
The one-time college student who befriended the younger Tsarnaev brother at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth spent more than five years in prison after he was convicted of obstruction of justice related to the bombing investigation.
He agreed to be deported to Kazakhstan from the United States after serving his sentence, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
Three people were killed in the April 15, 2013, attack near the finish line of one of the country’s premier running events, which draws runners and spectators to Boston from around the U.S. and the world. The Tsarnaev brothers were the subject of a days-long manhunt. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed by police while on the run; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured.
A prosecutor in the case argued that if Kadyrbayev had gone to police once he identified Tsarnaev’s image on TV as a suspect, the teen college student could have prevented the death of a university police officer killed by the bombers three days after the blasts, as law enforcement conducted an extensive manhunt for the brothers.
"The person I was back then, I’m ashamed of that person,” Kadyrbayev told U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock during his sentencing hearing on June 2, 2015, the Boston Globe reported. “Now I know every decision has consequences, my decision has consequences as well . . . and I apologize for that.”
The prosecutor said the officer was fatally shot hours after Kadyrbayev recognized his friend in the photos, according to the Boston Globe.
“At no point did the defendant heed the FBI’s plea for help from the public,” she said. “It does go to his moral character. We will never know whether his actions could have prevented it.”
Kadyrbayev entered the United States on a student visa around the start of the autumn semester in September 2011.
On the evening of April 18, 2013, after Kadyrbayev saw images of the Boston Marathon bombers released to the public, he texted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. That night, Kadyrbayev joined two other friends, Azamat Tazhayakov and Robel Philipos, at Tsarnaev’s UMass dormitory room.
There, he removed Tsarnaev’s laptop, a backpack containing fireworks, a jar of Vaseline, and a thumb drive. Some of the explosive powder appeared to have been removed from the fireworks.
He then threw some of the items into the garbage offsite.
Tazhayakov and Phillipos were convicted for their roles in impeding the investigation. Tazhayakov, also of Kazakhstan, returned to Kazakhstan after finishing his prison sentence in 2016. Phillipos was released from prison in February 2018.
Tsarnaev, 25, was sentenced to death in 2015. He is detained at a federal maximum security prison in Colorado.