The affidavit to support the arrest of Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali is pictured on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. Federal prosecutors charged the two men who they say were posing as federal agents, giving free apartments and other gifts to agents from the US Secret Service, including one who worked in the first lady’s security detail. Both were taken into custody when more than a dozen FBI agents forced their way into a luxury apartment building in southeastern Washington on Wednesday night.
Jon Elswick | access point
The two men arrested for posing as Department of Homeland Security agents attempted to send evidence out of their apartment and enlist the help of a federal law enforcement officer after being tipped off about an investigation, according to a memo presenting additional evidence that prosecutors they think it justifies. detention without bail.
Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 36, were arrested on wednesday. The men are being accused of posing as DHS law enforcement officers in Washington, D.C. Assistant US Attorney Joshua Rothstein said additional conspiracy charges could be filed against the men.
The latest filing said Taherzadeh applied to be an armed special police officer, or SPO, and was denied in March 2019, due to his previous misdemeanor domestic violence conviction. Taherzadeh was later allowed to earn commission as an unarmed SPO, but that expired when he failed to provide documents to support license renewal in December 2021.
Ali also applied for an SPO commission around October 2020, but was denied based on his previous arrests for assault on a family member and malicious wounding and forcible kidnapping.
The FBI said in an affidavit that both men, from February 2020 until their arrest, allegedly posed as agents working for DHS and were carrying badges and firearms as part of that deception. The affidavit said the men did this “to ingratiate themselves with members of the federal police and defense community.”
Even if the men were licensed as SPOs, prosecutors argued that their possession and use of weapons, ammunition and other law enforcement tools, such as a dynamic entry kit, “far exceed the scope of the SPO license, which further demonstrates the duration of his deception and demonstrates his dangerousness”.
Prosecutors said they interviewed a former US Marine, whom the couple tried to recruit based on his fake DHS credentials. The anonymous witness alleged that he observed illegal weapons in the presence of Taherzadeh and Ali, including an AR-15/M4 variant automatic rifle with an illegal silencer and an AR pistol.
None of the men had a license to carry a firearm outside their homes, according to the file. Law enforcement officials also recovered illegal high-capacity magazines.
After Taherzadeh was made aware of the government investigation, prosecutors say he and/or Ali tried to hide evidence by shipping items out of his apartment complex. Law enforcement officials found UPS labels and shipping materials while conducting their search, “raising concerns that evidence of the facility was being concealed.”
Prosecutors said their concerns turned out to be true.
On Thursday, a United States Secret Service uniformed division officer received a package sent via UPS Next Day Air with a return label that matched Ali and Taherzadeh’s apartment complex. Inside the box were boxes of firearms; a box of firearms contained three magazines of ammunition. In addition, the package also contained a cigarette case with four cigars.
“This is consistent with the pattern and past practice of providing federal law enforcement officers with gifts and items of value, and suggests that Taherzadeh and/or Ali sent the package to the USSS Uniformed Division Officer in an attempt to recruit him.” corruptly to conceal evidence,” the filing read.
Prosecutors alleged Friday that the men “committedSecret Service personnel assigned to protect First Lady Jill Biden and the White House by “lavishing” them with gifts that included free apartments.
— CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report.