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New arrest linked to gun used after Boston attacks

BOSTON (AP) - A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is believed to have provided the handgun used to kill a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer during the manhunt, people with knowledge of the investigation said Tuesday.

Stephen Silva made an initial appearance in federal court on charges related to heroin trafficking and possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number. An attorney for Silva, Jonathan Shapiro, said Tuesday evening that he had received the case only a few hours earlier.

"According to news reports, law-enforcement officials say it is the same weapon that was used ... in the MIT officer Sean Collier shooting. However, this has not been charged in the indictment," Shapiro said.

Sources: Friend Linked to Gun Used by Tsarnaevs

"I am in the process of meeting with my client and reviewing the available evidence which will eventually be presented in a court of law in accordance with our system of justice," Shapiro said in a statement. "Out of respect for that system and for my client, I cannot make any further comment on the case."

The 9 mm Ruger pistol described in the indictment is the same handgun that was used to kill MIT police officer Sean Collier during the manhunt for the bombing suspects, according to the two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation. The grand jury indictment, which was filed July 15, does not mention Collier's slaying or any connection to Tsarnaev.

Sources: Friend Linked to Gun Used by Tsarnaevs

The origin of the gun was among the lingering mysteries of the investigation into the April 2013 attack, in which three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when twin bombs exploded near the finish line. Collier, 26-year-old MIT campus police officer, was ambushed several days later and shot multiple times in his car.

According to the indictment, Silva knowingly had possession of the gun, "which had the importer's and manufacturer's serial number removed, obliterated, and altered and had previously been shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce."

The indictment also alleges that Silva conspired to distribute heroin this summer in the Boston area.

Silva is a friend of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He said in court Tuesday that he graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in 2011, the same year as Tsarnaev. Silva was ordered to remain in custody ahead of a bail hearing scheduled for Aug. 6.

Dzhokhar's brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was killed in a shootout with police several days after the bombings. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev escaped but was soon found, wounded and hiding in a boat dry-docked in a backyard in suburban Watertown.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial in November. He faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted.

Four other men have been charged with crimes related to the bombing investigation.

On Monday, a federal grand jury found Azamat Tazhayakov guilty of obstruction of justice and conspiracy for trying to protect Tsarnaev by agreeing with another friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, to get rid of a backpack and disable fireworks they took from his dorm room. Kadyrbayev is to be tried next month on the same charges.

Robel Phillipos, who is charged with lying to investigators about being in the dorm room with Kadyrbayev and Tazhayakov the night the items were taken, is to have a separate trial in September. And a friend of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Khairulluzon Matanov, is to be tried next year on charges that he lied to investigators about the extent of his friendship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the contact he had with both brothers in the days following the bombings.

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Taina July 22 2014 at 11:44 PM

Possession of an altered gun used to kill a campus officer in a high profile case. Big time trouble.

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1 reply
deepdlt Taina July 23 2014 at 9:07 AM

And did they also go after the kitchenware salesman who sold them a pressure cooker that they altered?

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Jose Ahmed July 23 2014 at 3:45 AM

talk directly to the u.s.attorney office ,take a plea and save yourself lots grief and money, no lawyer can save you, save yourself fool

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pd102a July 23 2014 at 6:52 AM

I could be wrong, but I don't think grand juries determine guilt or innocence, but merely determine that their is enough evidence to warrant a trial. Perhaps the story should be updated.

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kacklelackle July 23 2014 at 10:40 AM

I think the issue is in the timeline. How did this guy get the gun back after the MIT shooting? These guys were supposedly on the run that night, shooting the officer at 10:30 or 11 and then having a shootout with the police at around 1am. So in the 2 hours in between they connected with Silva and gav him a gun? Why would they do that, knowing the were on the run, heavily armed and expecing to go out in a blaze? Somthing doesn't add up.

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1 reply
pd102a kacklelackle July 23 2014 at 3:44 PM

Agreed. I think there is a lot the police and FBI are going to have to prove when it comes to convicting him on this crime. He could say he found it, or, as you say, put kinks in the timeline by proving he was elsewhere or any number of things. Bad that it is allegedly the same gun (yet to be proven in a court of law but probably is), but it doesn't prove complicity in the crime at all, merely that he possessed an illegal gun.

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deno4reel July 23 2014 at 9:14 AM

Once this clown is convicted, execute him, don't let 30 yrs of appeals keep him setting around, that;s the problem with killers, they often outlive the victims' families,, bring back public hangings,, let other terrorists see what happens when we "hang em high"

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kingofswords72 July 23 2014 at 9:09 AM

Are they saying that the gun that was used to kill the campus police officer was never found until now, after they arrested Silva for drug trafficking?

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deno4reel July 23 2014 at 9:08 AM

Has the feds even thought about the fact that the 2 brothers could have tried to remove the serial numbers?

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sheriffchris July 23 2014 at 8:58 AM


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baitmaster1951 July 23 2014 at 8:46 AM

Lock him up, and melt the key.

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wesljam5 July 23 2014 at 1:43 PM

Nothing suspicious about this...move along citizen.

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