Two men are accused of posing as federal agents and providing gifts to members of the Secret Service, including one who was assigned to first lady Jill Biden’s protective detail, according to court documents.
The FBI arrested Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 36, both of Washington, D.C., on Wednesday on a criminal complaint charging them with the federal offense of false impersonation of an officer of the United States, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
From as early as February 2020, Taherzadeh and Ali pretended to be federal law enforcement officers working for the Department of Homeland Security and used it in an attempt to buy off members of the Secret Service and one Department of Homeland Security employee, according to an affidavit.
Taherzadeh bought them rent-free apartments, each costing $40,000 a year per apartment, iPhones, surveillance systems, drones, a flat-screen tv, an assault rifle case, a generator, and law enforcement paraphernalia, according to the court document.
He also said the federal agents could use what he said were “official government vehicles” and offered to buy a $2,000 assault rifle for a Secret Service agent assigned to the first lady’s security detail.
The Daily Caller News Foundation watched as federal agents entered and exited the luxury apartment building for hours Wednesday. At one point, the agents carried in evidence boxes, some with images of guns on them.
One resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said she knew one of the accused, but wasn’t surprised to hear the news.
“He talked about how he … lived in the building and was a secret police, and my sister thought it was weird because she works for the federal government, and he just talked about how … they put him here because he works with gang violence and … whatever happened at the Capitol brought him here,” she said.
“Me and my sister always thought it was like a weird story, and I work in Navy Yard as a waitress on the weekends, and I came back … and he was like belligerently drunk, like, all the time at, like, 3 or 4 in the morning, like, just made everyone uncomfortable, would hit on, like, women in the building,” she continued.
The resident said she “always thought he was weird.”
“And I’m guessing one of the Secret Service members, I know it was a woman, so I don’t know if he had a relationship with her or not, that’s why they were so heavily involved, but it would make sense … . He made a lot of people uncomfortable in our building by the way he acted towards women—so yeah, not surprised,” she said.
Four members of the Secret Service were put on administrative leave Monday pending the investigation, according to the court document.
The two men are in custody and will appear in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
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