QUINCY, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – FOX 25 has learned more about the 23-year-old man facing federal charges in connection with the Boston Marathon bombings investigation.
Khairullozhon Matanov was arrested Friday and charged with one count of destroying, altering, and falsifying records, documents, and tangible objects in a federal investigation, and three counts of making materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements in a federal terrorism investigation. He had ties to the alleged Boston bombers and we have new information about what he did days after the bombings.
Matanov lived in Quincy and residents told FOX 25 that over the last year and since Matanov's arrest, they've noticed unusual things happening in their neighborhood.
“It's pretty scary. And I think what we heard last year could possibly be tied into all of this," Quincy resident Elizabeth Feitelberg said.
Feitelberg said she heard two explosions in her neighborhood in March and April of last year. The explosions were so loud that it shook her house, she said.
"They were loud enough to shake the house, and being a photographer, I contacted City of Quincy Police Department and they couldn't find anything," Feitelberg said.
She even reached out to the department on Twitter for any news as to what may have been the source of the explosions. Less than a week later, the Marathon bombings happened.
“I thought we're that close to Boston. I thought it's probably not a coincidence if the people that did what they did in Boston wanted to practice or do stuff ahead of time," she said.
Matanov, her neighbor, was arrested more than a year later just down the street from her. He appeared in Federal Court and was charged with obstructing the investigation into the Marathon bombings in connection with deleting information from his computer and lying to investigators.
Feitelberg’s husband told FOX 25 that he even remembers what he called a loud helicopter or planes flying over the neighborhood last year. It baffled residents from Quincy to Wollaston.
A source told the Patriot Ledger that the FBI was using a drone-like plane to track Matanov's movements.
Peter Brown, uncle of bombing survivors JP and Paul Norden, said, "We always believed that there were other people involved."
Brown says his family is glad officials are still leaving no stone unturned in this investigation. An unsealed indictment revealed Matanov allegedly had dinner with the Tsarnaev’s the night of the blasts and even discussed the attacks. Days later, when pictures of the Tsarnaev’s were released, Matanov allegedly deleted references from his computer to videos and photos of the brothers, a photo of MIT Officer Sean Collier and files that contained violent content.
"To know that these other guys, or whoever is involved tried to help? They gotta be equally accountable so it does make a difference to us," Brown said.
The spokesman who works with the family of bombing victim Martin Richard said it's comforting to know that the investigation is still ongoing.
The US Attorney's office notes Matanov is not charged with participating in the bombings or knowing about them in advance.