Two men in Washington, DC, who claimed to be special agents for the Department of Homeland Security, were arrested and charged with impersonating a federal officer.
Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali have been posing as federal agents since February 2020, according to an FBI affidavit, and were able to get close to several Secret Service agents assigned to the White House and one to the First Lady’s Protective Service by offering favors.
Taherzadeh reportedly provided free apartments, iPhones, surveillance systems, a flat-screen TV and other items to win over Secret Service agents and a DHS employee. He also offered what he called “official government vehicles” and offered to buy a $2,000 assault rifle for the Secret Service agent assigned to the first lady, according to the affidavit.
4 members of the Secret Service have been placed on leave
In a statement, the Secret Service said it “has been working and continues to work with our law enforcement partners on this ongoing investigation. All personnel involved in this matter are on administrative leave and will not has no access to Secret Service facilities, equipment and systems.”
Court documents say four members of the Secret Service have been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation.
Taherzadeh and Ali also allegedly recruited someone to be a “DHS employee” and “be part of their task force.”
As part of the “recruitment process,” according to court documents, Taherzadeh and Ali said the candidate had to be shot with an Airsoft gun to assess his pain tolerance. They also commissioned the applicant to conduct research on a person who provided support to the Department of Defense and the intelligence community.
The FBI’s investigation into Taherzadeh and Ali began after an incident in March when there was an alleged assault involving a United States Postal Service postman at an apartment complex in Washington, D.C. Residents of the building told investigators that Taherzadeh and Ali may have witnessed the event. .
Investigators learned from residents that Taherzadeh and Ali said they had video surveillance of the entire building. Residents also said the two men claimed to have access to the cellphones of everyone in the building.