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Two men who allegedly posed as federal agents agents and tried to infiltrate the Secret Service have been indicted on multiple charges including impersonating a U.S. officer and unlawful firearms charges, court filings revealed on Tuesday.
A federal grand jury indicted Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Sher-Ali, 35, of impersonating federal officers and unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device. Taherzadeh was slapped with an additional count of the latter charge.
It was after they were found to have showered lavish gifts on Secret Service agents and other government staffers with security clearances in an alleged bid to ‘ingratiate’ themselves in those circles and gain their trust.
A charge of impersonating an officer or employee of the United States carries a criminal fine and a possible sentence of up to three years in prison. Unlawful possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device has a similar charge.
Special agents raided luxury apartment building Crossing DC earlier this month, where the men apparently leased five units but never paid for them.
Tuesday’s filing included a previous affidavit accusing Ali and Taherzadeh of ‘falsely assuming and pretending to be officers or employees acting under the authority of the United States government’ from as early as February 2020.
In addition they showered Secret Service agents with ‘iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a flat screen television, a case for storing an assault rifle, a generator, and law enforcement paraphernalia.’
Haider Sher-Ali, 36, (left) and Arian Taherzadeh, 40, (right) were arrested for impersonating federal agents with the Department of Homeland Security claiming to be involved in an investigation into the January 6 Capitol attack
It also states they ‘obtained paraphernalia’ used by federal officers including hand guns, assault rifles and other items with law enforcement insignias.
Secret Service agents assigned to details for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence are among those being investigated for accepting lavish gifts and partying with Taherzadeh and Ali, who alleged they were agents with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
At least one of the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) agents receiving free rent from Taherzadeh and Ali was assigned to the detail protecting Harris’ residence at Number One Observatory Circle at the Naval Observatory, sources at the building told DailyMail.com.
Another, sources claim, was on the presidential protective detail and regularly traveled with President Biden on Air Force One.
Taherzadeh is also accused of offering to buy a $2,000 firearm for a member of First Lady Jill Biden’s security team.
One of the more bizarre accusations in the affidavit involves an ‘individual’ who Taherzadeh and Ali invited to apply for an unspecified role, with a hiring process that included the recruit to agree to being ‘shot with an Airsoft rifle to evaluate their pain tolerance and reaction.’
Images from the raid of a unit on the 7th floor of a luxury DC building where Arian Taherzadeh was residing allegedly for free showed agents recovered ‘three current copies of Taherzadeh’s Washington D.C. driver’s license, passport, United States Special Police – Special Investigations Unit business cards, a USSP police badge, and several identification and credit cards’
Two passports and multiple visas from Ali show that he has traveled to Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar, Iran and Turkey
A memorandum supporting a motion for detention of Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Sher-Ali, 35, shows that the men had a slew of garb in their luxury DC apartment units, including fraudulent police garb. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey denied the motion last week
The individual was also ‘assigned to conduct research on an individual that provided support to the Department of Defense and intelligence community,’ the filing states.
Last week Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey for the District Court in Washington D.C. denied prosecutors’ request to detain the two men before trial.
‘I do not find it reliable that Mr. Ali has ties to the Pakistani intelligence service,’ the judge said, after prosecutors alleged such following the discovery of visas and passports suggest travel in Pakistan, Egypt and Iran.
Harvey conceded the defendants’ actions were ‘not good’, but said it was mostly ‘Sophomoric behavior, not the sort of serious dangerous conduct that requires pre-trial detention.’
The judge also said much of what prosecutors were laying out was ‘overblown’ and ‘overstated.’ He dismissed the notion that Taherzadeh and Ali pose a threat to national security.
During an arraignment earlier in April, details emerged that there could be connections between Ali and the Pakistani Intelligence Service.
Federal agents raided a luxury DC apartment building in Washington, DC’s trendy Navy Yard neighborhood earlier this month
Firearms recovered from unit 708, where Taherzadeh had a three bedroom unit supposedly for free
Two of his passports were found during a raid of his unit on the 6th floor of Crossing DC.
‘Ali’s expired passport contained several visas authorizing foreign travel,’ the Friday memorandum notes. ‘For instance, this passport contained two visas authorizing travel from the Islamic Republic of Iran.’
‘The Government has identified at least four entry/exit stamps from Mashhad International Airport in Mashhad, Razavi Khorasan, Iran.’
It goes on: ‘In addition, the Ali’s passport contained two thirty-day visas from Pakistan and one visa for travel to Egypt.’
Images of these visas and passports corroborate the claims made in the memorandum for detention of Taherzadeh and Ali.
Customs and Border Protection records show that Ali traveled through Doha, Qatar in November 2016, May 2019 and July 2019. He also went through there in October 2019 and returned from Istanbul, Turkey.
Ali and Taherzadeh were tipped off on the investigation two days before the FBI raided their apartments, according to federal prosecutors.