A man with an Iranian name and an accomplice with Pakistani ties who were arrested in Washington DC for impersonating federal agents have been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Arian Taherzadeh and Haidar Ali were arrested earlier this month by the FBI when it came to light that they were impersonating Homeland Security agents and had established ties with Secret Service agents, lavishing gifts on them. One agent was a member of First Lady jill Biden’s protection detail.
They were indicted Tuesday on charges of false impersonation of a federal agent and possession of a large-capacity ammunition device. The suspects had a range of law enforcement paraphernalia in their possession when they were arrested, including body armor and surveillance equipment.
Their scheme required a considerable amount of money, and it is not clear how they financed their operation. They offered expensive rent-free apartments, guns, iPhones and other gifts to federal agents.
A judge on April 8 released them from detention on the grounds that prosecutors had not established a foreign connection, but Haidar Ali’s passport shows he had Iranian visas and might have traveled to Iran in recent years.
It is not clear if prosecutors will appeal the decision of the judge to release the suspects into the custody of their families after the grand jury indictment.