Federal prosecutors have arrested two men who posed as Homeland Security Agents and gave free apartments and other expensive gifts to four Secret Service Agents — at least one of whom was on the First Lady’s security detail.
Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 36 were taken into custody after the USPS tipped off federal authorities that the men were claiming to be Homeland Security agents working as part of a task force on violence connected to the Jan. 6 riot.
After the USPS confirmed that they were not federal agents, law enforcement stormed the luxury apartment where the two men were living.
The men gave the four agents tens of thousands of dollars in perks and gifts, to what end is presently unknown.
Taherzadeh is accused of providing Secret Service officers and agents with rent-free apartments — including a penthouse worth over $40,000 a year — along with iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, flat screen television, a generator, gun case and other policing tools, according to court documents.
He also offered to let them use a black GMC SUV that he identified as an “official government vehicle,” prosecutors say. In one instance, Taherzadeh offered to purchase a $2,000 assault rifle for a Secret Service agent who is assigned to protect the first lady.
Prosecutors said four Secret Service employees were placed on leave earlier this week as part of the investigation.
These guys were into something seriously dangerous. The government is being very tight-lipped about the motive in the case — as they should be. The Feds may be waiting to see if they can roll up an entire network of spies — or assassins.
Whoever they are and whoever they work for, they are extremely well funded.
The affidavit included photos of the men in police tactical gear with “POLICE” emblazoned on their clothing. And in one instance, Taherzadeh sent a stock photo from the Internet to one witness and claimed to be in Homeland Security Investigations training, investigators alleged.
The affidavit also detailed interviews from several witnesses. One said Taherzadeh lives in and has several apartments in the complex. He provided one person with a rent-free penthouse apartment for about one year, a value of about $40,200, the affidavit said. One of the uniformed Secret Service members assigned to protect the White House complex allegedly lived in a three-bedroom apartment valued at $48,240 from February 2021 to January 2022, the court file said.
Another witness reported seeing “a significant amount of law enforcement paraphernalia, including SWAT vests, a large safe, computers, a high-powered telescope and internal surveillance cameras in [Taherzadeh’s] apartment.”
If they were scammers, they were targeting the wrong marks. If they wanted access to VIPs, hoodwinking a Secret Service agent on the First Lady’s security detail would make more sense.
The men have been posing as agents since February of this year. Imagine how much they’ve been able to learn about Secret Service procedures in that time.
This story is a long way from over, and I’m sure we’ll revisit the case as more information becomes available.