Prosecutors: Men who duped Secret Service a danger to community

U.S.

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — New court documents are shedding more light on two men charged with impersonating federal agents to access actual Secret Service members. The scheme unfolded over the course of several years and across international borders, but investigators are still trying to determine exactly what the duo was trying to accomplish.

Prosecutors are calling Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 36, “practiced liars” who are a flight risk and a danger to the community. Court documents argue the accused officer impersonators should be kept behind bars until trial.

Among the items investigators discovered during a search of multiple apartments Taherzadeh and Ali rented were an arsenal of weapons, a list of all the residents in the luxury Washington, D.C., apartment complex and their access codes, and surveillance equipment. FBI agents seized loaded handguns, ammunition, stocks, sniper scopes and police uniforms bearing the names of the defendants from the apartments.

Prosecutors say Taherzadeh and Ali lived and worked their alleged scheme.

Investigators reported finding expired passports showing Ali recently traveled twice to Iran. He’s the one prosecutors say told a witness he had connections to Pakistani intelligence, although the U.S. Government has not been able to independently verify that at this time.

The other suspect, Taherzadeh, reportedly admitted to owning a gun and blamed Ali for financing the alleged fraud. He claimed he didn’t know where the money was coming from for the alleged scheme.

Both Taherzadeh and Ali are accused of befriending and giving lavish gifts including rent-free apartments to four Secret Service members, including one assigned to protect first lady Jill Biden.

The news of Taherzadeh and Ali’s arrests is rattling neighbors at the luxury apartment building in Washington where Taherzadeh and Ali lived.

“People are pretty concerned, pretty pissed. Frustrated. You can imagine. People feel that their privacy has been violated. We don’t know what these gentleman were able to look at, what they heard, what they had access to,” one resident told NewsNation, later adding: “The fact that the Secret Service potentially was confused or duped by these guys, I think is even more concerning. They’re supposed to be the highest level of security for the most important people in our country, in our world.”

It’s still unclear what Taherzadeh and Ali were trying to accomplish by allegedly cozying up to the Secret Service agents, and the investigation into the duo is ongoing.

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