Merhawi “Howie’’ Berhe – who Stephen Silva said gave him the gun that Silva then handed to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in early 2013 – was indicted last week on a federal gun charge.
The indictment, originally reported by ABC News, says Berhe, 21, of Cambridge, “knowingly possessed’’ a Ruger pistol, which had its serial number removed, around the fall or winter of 2012. Berhe faces a charge of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
Tsarnaev’s childhood friend, Silva, during his testimony Tuesday in the Boston Marathon bombing trial, identified a gun recovered after the Watertown shootout as the gun he gave to Tsarnaev.
Silva told the jury “Howie’’ (Silva did not identify him by his full name in court) gave him the gun because he was concerned his mother would find it. He said Tsarnaev asked to borrow the gun to “rip’’ some kids from the University of Rhode Island and asked for “food for the dog,’’ a reference to needing ammunition.
Berhe was arrested March 11 and arraigned today in U.S. District Court. He was released on bail, according to ABC News.