Judge allows feds to seize Boston marathon bomber's prison canteen account

The seized cash includes a $1,400 COVID stimulus check sent to Tsarnaev last June


By Joe Dwinell
Boston Herald
        
BOSTON — Score one for Boston prosecutors.

A federal judge has granted a request from the acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Nathaniel Mendell to seize $21,071 from Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's prison canteen account.

That cash includes a $1,400 COVID stimulus check sent to Tsarnaev, 28, last June — a payout that's been targeted in Congress.

This file photo released April 19, 2013, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, convicted and sentenced to death for carrying out the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing attack.
This file photo released April 19, 2013, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, convicted and sentenced to death for carrying out the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing attack. (FBI via AP)

"The Boston Marathon Bomber should never have received a covid stimulus check, yet every Senate Democrat voted to give him one," Arkansas U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton told the Herald Thursday in a statement.

"I hope (Suffolk DA) Rachael Rollins will undertake every legal effort to rescind that payment — surely a mass murderer doesn't fall into her 'do not prosecute' list," Cotton, who fought Rollins' appointment by President Biden to the U.S. Attorney post in Massachusetts, added. Rollins posted a no-prosecute list of crimes — including shoplifting — that she would not prosecute when she took over as Suffolk DA.

Mendell, who will be replaced by Rollins on Monday, had filed an order "authorizing the BOP (Board of Prisons) to turn over all funds." Mendell adds Tsarnaev owes the government — and the victims of the April 15, 2013 bombings — $101,129,627.

U.S. District Court Judge George O'Toole Jr. authorized the Bureau of Prisons "to turn over to the Clerk of Court any and all funds, including any funds subject to administrate hold by BOP, held" in Tsarnaev's prison canteen account.

"This is unbelievable," said Peter Brown, whose two grown nephews lost their right legs in the bombings and still undergo operations today.

"It boggles the mind that he received a government stimulus check. That's just plain wrong. He attacked the community that welcomed him in," Brown added.

All that cash was readily available to Tsarnaev as he awaits his fate in a Colorado Supermax prison. The U.S. Supreme Court is set to take up his death penalty appeal during this session.

Tsarnaev, a student at UMass Dartmouth at the time of the bombing, and his older brother, Tamerlan, set off the two bombs at the marathon finish line, killing three people and wounding and maiming more than 260 others. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a manhunt three days later — run over by his brother fleeing in a car.

The bombing killed Martin Richard, 8; Krystle Campbell, 29; and Lu Lingzi, 23. MIT Police Officer Sean Collier, 27, was shot execution-style days later by the Tsarnaevs who were on the run. Boston Police Officer Dennis Simmonds, 28, injured in that Watertown shootout, died in April 2014.
   
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