Four Secret Service employees were fired allegedly deceived by two men who were accused of posing as officers and employees of the federal government.

Investigators say 40-year-old Arian Taherzadeh and 35-year-old Haider Ali, each accused of falsely impersonating a federal officer, have found paraphernalia, pistols and machine guns used by federal law enforcement. Then, according to the FBI, they allegedly used their false connections with the U.S. government to appease U.S. Secret Service employees with gifts and services.

Two of the four dismissed Secret Service agents are agents and two are uniformed officers. A statement from the FBI released on Wednesday listed three of them as witnesses with whom the bureau was widely interviewed.

One of the agents was a member of the Secret Service of First Lady Jill Biden. Another is a uniformed officer in the White House. The third is detailed as a department officer in uniform at the residence of Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Naval Observatory. And the fourth was intended for the protection of the president – that is, this officer is one of the federal agents tasked with protecting the security of the incumbent president, first family and vice president.

The FBI is raiding an elite apartment building in the case of two men who pretended to be FBI agents and deceived four U.S. Secret Service employees.

Government exhibits

However, the fourth officer is not involved in the USSS investigation because this person does not have information relevant to the investigation, but allegedly interacted with the suspects.

Prosecutors asked Judge G. Michael Harvey on Friday night to detain the couple before trial, arguing that evidence gathered from five apartments held earlier this week showed that the two posed a “serious danger” that Ali was threatening to flee. , and Sacherzade may try to destroy the evidence.

“The convicts didn’t just play clothes,” prosecutor Joshua Rothstein said, “but they created a potential threat to national security.” The men “tricked people whose job it is to be suspicious of others,” he argued, who were ultimately “shocked” that they were not the federal officers they pretended to be.

However, Rothstein also testified in court that the government believes Taherzadeh was a special police officer of the Metropolitan Police in Washington, D.C., at an unspecified time, which aroused the judge’s interest.

Judicial documents filed in preparation for Friday’s detention hearing detail the evidence investigators found during their search: a loaded pistol, tactical equipment, a sledgehammer, ammunition, handcuffs, a drone and even police lanterns.

Paraphernalia found in an FBI raid on men who allegedly pretended to be federal agents.

State Exhibition

Investigators also presented to the court numerous passports and visas, which they said belonged to Ali, which showed two visas allowing them to leave the Islamic Republic of Iran. There were also signs of numerous international trips.

In an interview after his arrest and in a government note on his detention, Taherzadeh allegedly told law enforcement that he had falsely called himself a member of the Department of Homeland Security and a former U.S. Army ranger. He also admitted that he offered to give the USSS agent a machine gun and gave free apartments to two USSS agents for about one year.

“As for Ali, Taherzadeh said that Ali received electronic access codes and a list of all tenants of the apartment complex. Taherzadeh also said that Ali finances most of their daily activities, but Taherzadeh did not know where the money came from,” the court said.

Harvey was skeptical of the government’s evidence during Friday’s hearing because prosecutors lacked the evidence to answer many of his questions. By Monday, he had demanded from prosecutors answers about Taherzade’s past work and business, sources of funding and specific information about Ali’s trip.

“I want to know what you know … and what it means,” the judge demanded.

The service is also gathering additional information on how the social circles of the two suspects intertwined with the circles of secret service officers. The agency’s security department launched an internal investigation Monday to determine how both suspects entered the lives of law enforcement officers, sources familiar with the matter told CBS News. Investigators are also investigating whether there were any security breaches during the suspects’ communication with officials. At the moment, U.S. law enforcement officials say an internal investigation has found no evidence that the suspects were leaked confidential information, but stress that the investigation is at a “very early” stage.

The review will ultimately determine whether the agency will take more punitive action against officials who have been deceived, including whether they should be allowed to maintain admission.

The generous gifts given by the suspects to USSS officers, including iPhones, TVs, apartments and a vending machine, were not presented as bribes, but were shown to USSS officials as “gifts,” according to sources familiar with the audit. Passing them on to Secret Service officers, the suspects claimed the equipment was surplus from previous federal cases. For example, one USSS official who took over the apartment told investigators that he was led to believe it was “left over” from a completed federal surveillance operation.

However, federal agents receive regular training aimed at raising their awareness of such stories, which raises the question of how trained law enforcement officers have been deceived.

Law enforcement sources told CBS News that FBI investigators conducting a U.S. government criminal investigation into the suspects are studying the likelihood that both suspects have ties to Iranian intelligence including the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, an elite component of the Iranian military that conducts special operations, or the Quds Forces.

Taherzadeh and Ali each face up to 3 years in prison if convicted, but prosecutors said in court Thursday that they could also charge the couple as part of a conspiracy. They will remain in jail at least until Monday, when the detention session will continue.

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