Politics

Prosecutors say impersonators who duped Secret Service brokers are harmful flight dangers


By Holmes Lybrand and Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN

(CNN) — The Justice Department stated two males charged with impersonating federal brokers pose a hazard to the neighborhood and a flight threat, citing a stockpile of weapons discovered of their flats, in depth abroad journey and international contacts, together with an uncorroborated connection to the Pakistani intelligence service.

In a memo arguing that the 2 males ought to stay detained pending trial, prosecutors wrote that Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali compromised federal legislation enforcement operations and created a possible threat to nationwide safety.

“The Defendants were not merely playing dress-up,” prosecutors wrote within the memo filed on Friday. “They had firearms, they had ammunition, they had body armor, they had tactical gear, they had surveillance equipment.”

Taherzadeh and Ali had been arrested earlier this week and charged with impersonating Department of Homeland Security brokers for greater than two years. They gave costly presents to federal brokers and supplied them flats in Washington, DC, in accordance with the detention memo. Taherzadeh allegedly supplied to buy a $2,000 assault rifle for a Secret Service agent on the primary girl’s protecting element, in accordance with an affidavit.

Prosecutors haven’t supplied an alleged motive or the aim of the pretend operation, nor have authorities recognized a supply of the cash that funded it. The two males will seem at a detention listening to Friday, and prosecutors have indicated in court docket that they might add extra expenses for “conspiracy.”

“Neither Defendant is even employed by the United States government. But their impersonation scheme was sufficiently realistic to convince other government employees, including law enforcement agents, of their false identities,” prosecutors wrote.

“They pretended to recruit other individuals to law enforcement and their fake operation… and leveraged their phony law enforcement status to ingratiate themselves to other law enforcement agents in sensitive positions.”

After their arrest, prosecutors say Taherzadeh instructed investigators that Ali funded most of their day-to-day operation however Taherzadeh stated he didn’t know the place the cash got here from.

The pair had been additionally in possession of “immigration documents for a number of individuals,” in accordance with the memo from prosecutors, and had vital entry to details about different tenants within the Washington, DC, residence advanced the place they and quite a lot of legislation enforcement officers resided, together with the digital entry codes and an inventory of every tenant.

In addition, prosecutors stated the pair had a machine to make “Personal Identification Verification” playing cards in addition to passport pictures. Witnesses noticed Taherzadeh with a PIV card he used to log in to his laptop computer that had a “DHS” label on it, in accordance with the memo.

Taherzadeh had a number of copies of his driver’s license and varied ID playing cards, and Ali had traveled to Iran and had two visas from Pakistan and one for journey to Egypt.

According to the memo, Taherzadeh and Ali had been stockpiling weapons and legislation enforcement tools in a number of flats they leased in a DC residence advanced. In one residence, which investigators stated was used for storage, investigators discovered a loaded Glock 19 handgun and a Sig Sauer handgun, elements to a protracted gun, scopes, and a number of rounds of ammunition.

In different flats, investigators found surveillance tools, together with 30 onerous drives, onerous drive copying tools and a “high-end drone,” in addition to clothes with police insignia, police parking placards, a latent fingerprint equipment and a lock selecting equipment, in accordance with the detention memo.

Taherzadeh pleaded responsible to misdemeanor assault and battery of his spouse in Virginia court docket in 2013, prosecutors famous, and is prohibited from proudly owning firearms.

Neither Taherzadeh nor Ali has entered a proper plea.

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