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Two men in Washington, DC, were charged with posing as federal agents after they gave US Secret Service agents gifts, including iPhones, apartments, and televisions, according to officials.
Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 36, were arrested on Wednesday evening after multiple federal agencies entered an apartment building in Southeast Washington, DC
The two men are accused of posing the employees of the Department of Homeland Security who worked on a special task force related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and prosecutors allege that they posed as law enforcement officers in order to integrate with legitimate federal agents.
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One of the people who was given gifts previously worked on the first lady’s security detail, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors allege that Taherzadeh and Ali obtained firearms, which include handguns and assault rifles that are used by federal law enforcement agencies.
Taherzadeh provided members of the US Secret Service with rent-free apartments, iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a flat screen television, storage for an assault rifle, and more, prosecutors say.
The apartments provided by Taherzadeh had a value of over $40,000 per unit.
In addition, he is also accused of offering Secret Service agents the usage of “official government vehicles.”
Taherzadeh also allegedly made an offer to purchase an assault rifle valued at $2,000 for a Secret Service agent who was assigned to the first lady’s security detail.
Taherzadeh also provided one Secret Service agent with a rent-free three-bedroom apartment, valued at $48,240. The Secret Service agent stayed at the apartment from February 2021 to January 2022, according to prosecutors.
As a result of the investigation by federal authorities, four members of the Secret Service were placed on administrative leave.
The plot by the two individuals began to come into question when a United States Postal Inspector arrived at their apartment complex to investigate an alleged assault which involved a United States Postal Service carrier, according to prosecutors.
Residents of the apartment complex told the inspector that the two men set up video surveillance throughout the apartment complex, and said they believe that they had access to personal information, and even said that the men claimed they could access their cell phones.
The men identified themselves as investigators with the US Special Police Investigation Unit, which Ali said was part of the Department of Homeland Security, and said Taherzadeh was a Department of Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent.
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The United States Postal Inspector gave this information to the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General, then it was referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors allege that Taherzadeh identified himself as a Department of Homeland Security Investigations special agent to a Secret Service agent who’s currently assigned to the first lady’s protection detail, and Ali identified himself as a Homeland Security Investigations analyst.
In an attempt to prove he was an employee of the Department of Homeland Security, Taherzadeh took a picture of himself in a Department of Homeland Security Investigations “vest.” The Secret Service agent also allegedly saw multiple pictures of Taherzadeh in police gear, according to prosecutors.
Taherzadeh also allegedly texted the Secret Service agent a picture which he said was purportedly from a training, but was actually pulled from a social media post.
Another witness who’s also a member of the Secret Service said that Taherzadeh also has access to “all floors of the apartment,” including some restricted areas. The witness says that he was able to get this access by speaking with the apartment complex’s management and identifying himself as a federal agent.
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Taherzadeh allegedly controls a limited liability company titled “United Special Police LLC,” which is described as a private law enforcement, investigative, and protective service based in Washington, DC
Taherzadeh and Ali will appear before a judge on Thursday for their initial appearances.
The investigation is ongoing, according to prosecutors.
Fox News’ David Spunt and the Associated Press contributed to this report.