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Secret Service agents received gifts from 2 posing as Homeland Security agents, prosecutors say

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged two men they say are posing as federal agents and giving US Secret Service agents free apartments and other gifts, including one who worked on the first lady’s security details.

The two men – Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 36 – were taken into custody when more than a dozen FBI agents broke into a luxury apartment building in southeast Washington on Wednesday night.

Prosecutors allege Taherzadeh and Ali falsely claimed to work for the Department of Homeland Security and to work on a task force investigating gangs and violence related to the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol. They accuse the two of posing as law enforcement officers to integrate with actual federal agents.

Taherzadeh is accused of providing officials and Secret Service agents with rent-free housing — including a penthouse worth over $40,000 a year — along with iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a flat-screen TV, a generator, a gun case and others Police Tools to Court Records.

He also offered them the use of a black GMC SUV, which he identified as an “official government vehicle,” prosecutors say. In one instance, Taherzadeh offered to buy a $2,000 assault rifle for a Secret Service agent tasked with protecting the First Lady.

Prosecutors said four Secret Service employees were furloughed earlier this week as part of the investigation.

The conspiracy unraveled when the US Postal Inspection Service began investigating an attack on a mailman at the apartment building, and the men identified themselves as part of a false Homeland Security unit they dubbed the US Special Police Investigation Unit.

Prosecutors say the men also monitored the building and told residents they could access any of their cell phones at any time. Residents also told investigators they believed the men had access to their personal information.

Taherzadeh and Ali are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday. It wasn’t immediately clear if they had lawyers who could comment on the allegations.

Authorities gave no details of what, if anything, the men were trying to achieve by impersonating law enforcement officers or by presenting the gifts. The investigation is ongoing, the prosecutor said.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc13.com/secret-service-agents-arrested-news-arian-taherzadeh-haider-ali/11720835/ Secret Service agents received gifts from 2 posing as Homeland Security agents, prosecutors say

Dais Johnston

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