Two men pretending to be Homeland Security agents were arrested this week after being caught and manipulating Secret Service agents and other law enforcement by giving them gifts, free apartments, and other things. Now it's being revealed that someone tipped the men off that they were about to be raided.
According to the Daily Beast, federal prosecutor Matthew Graves wrote in a Sunday filing that investigators are still discovering more information about the efforts by the two men. It's still unknown why the men were manipulating law enforcement and their ultimate end game. One of the people that they targeted with free gifts was tasked with working on first lady Dr. Jill Biden's protection detail.
“Each hour since their arrest, the Government learns more—and scarier—information about how Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali abused their fake authority,” Graves said in his argument for why the men should be kept in custody pending trial.
He explained that the apartments occupied in southeastern Washington had illegal high-capacity magazines for Taherzadeh’s Sig Sauer 229 and Ali’s Glock 19. Previously the list included guns, gas masks, tactical gear, hard drives, servers, a drone, training manuals for the Department of Homeland Security and Naval Criminal Investigative Services, a binder of every resident in their apartment building, ammo body armor, surveillance equipment and sledgehammers and mini-door rams. There were also things like fake badges and training certificates under their names.
"Officers found shipping materials and UPS labels in one of their penthouses. In early April, as the FBI surveilled the pair, the Secret Service agent received a package in the mail from the pair," the Daily Beast said, citing the prosecutors. "The package contained three empty cases for Sig Sauer and Glock firearms that have not been found, a high-capacity magazine, and four expensive cigars."
More people have come forward to talk about their contact with the two men, including a Naval Intelligence Officer.
"The Intelligence Officer was so alarmed and concerned about Taherzadeh’s attempt to gather information that he reported the contact to the Naval Criminal Investigative Services,” the court filing explained.
The two men were also tipped off about the FBI raid and arrest. They were observed trying to ditch incriminating items through a Secret Service agent who is assigned to protect the White House, the filing says.
“This is consistent with the prior pattern and practice of providing federal law enforcement agents with gifts and items of value, and suggests that Taherzadeh and/or Ali shipped the package to the USSS Uniformed Division Officer in an attempt to corruptly enlist him in secreting evidence,” the filing also said.
There were also allegations from prosecutors that Ali had ties to Pakistan intelligence. Ali also had passports for Iran and Pakistan. The FBI hasn't decided whether or not the men are actually tied to an espionage effort.