Two men have reportedly been arrested as part of a bizarre plot to impersonate federal officers and provide Secret Service agents with gifts, including rent-free apartments.
40-year-old Arian Taherzadeh and 36-year-old Haider Ali were arrested and charged after they allegedly falsely claimed they worked for the Department of Homeland Security and were investigating violence connected to Jan. 6, according to The Associated Press.
The men allegedly provided "rent-free apartments" costing over $40,000 a year to U.S. Secret Service members and a Department of Homeland Security employee, and Taherzadeh allegedly also offered to buy a $2,000 assault rifle for a Secret Service agent assigned to First Lady Jill Biden, CNN reports.
Additionally, according to CNN, Taherzadeh allegedly gifted federal agents "iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a flat screen television, a case for storing an assault rifle, a generator, and law enforcement paraphernalia." The men also set up surveillance systems in a D.C. building and claimed to residents "that they could access any of their cellphones at any time," the AP reports. The men allegedly posed as DHS officers going back to Feb. 2020, according to The Washington Post.
Four Secret Service agents have now been placed on leave. The agency told CNN, "The Secret Service has worked, and continues to work, with its law enforcement partners on this ongoing investigation. All personnel involved in this matter are on administrative leave and are restricted from accessing Secret Service facilities, equipment and systems." But the AP says it's not currently clear what the two men who posed as federal agents were actually attempting to accomplish.