2 men accused of pretending to be federal agents indicted by federal grand jury

Two men accused of pretending to be special agents with the Department of Homeland Security have been indicted by a federal grand jury.

After examining the case, Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali were both indicted on charges of false impersonation of a federal officer. The two were also indicted on a charge of possessing a large capacity ammunition device.

It was earlier this month that the duo were arrested at a luxury apartment building in D.C.’s Navy Yard. The investigation was spurred after the two identified themselves as agents to investigators with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, who went to the building to look into the assault of a mail carrier.

After their arrest, a search of the apartment the men occupied in the building turned up police tactical gear, guns and ammunition, and even a surveillance system that monitored the building, according to federal prosecutors. The two are also accused of having a binder with information on all the residents in their building, many of whom were federal agents.

U.S. District Court prosecutors also claimed the two showered actual federal agents they befriended with gifts, including a rent-free stay at a penthouse in the building.

Public defender Michelle Peterson, who is representing Taherzadeh, told the court during the men’s last hearing that the gifts were the product of a “genuine friendship,” and that there was no evidence that her client used the friendships and gifts to collect confidential information.

Gregory Smith, Ali’s lawyer during the same hearing, claimed his client was not a partner of Taherzadeh and instead an employee of his company USSP.

Four Secret Service employees have been suspended after allegedly being duped by Taherzadeh and Ali. Two of the four suspended officials are agents, and two are uniformed division officers.

The two men were released to stay with their fathers after their detention hearing. They now must appear back in court to be arraigned on the new charges from the federal grand jury. A date for that arraignment has not yet been set.

CBS News contributed to this report. 

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Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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