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Men Granted Bail After Being Accused of Impersonating DHS Agents and Compromising White House Secret Service Agents

Source: Bill Hennessy
  • A judge granted bail to two Washington, D.C., men criminally charged with impersonating federal law enforcement agents.
  • Haider Ali and Arian Taherzadeh allegedly duped Secret Service agents and others with their claims of being Department of Homeland Security agents, prosecutors have said.
  • Prosecutors asked the judge to detain both men without bail pending their trial, calling them a threat to the public.
  • Four Secret Service agents who had contact with the men have been placed on administrative leave. Among the witnesses against the men are Secret Service agents who were assigned to first lady Jill Biden's protective detail and the White House.

A judge granted bail Tuesday to two Washington, D.C., men criminally charged with impersonating federal law enforcement agents.

Prosecutors during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington said that they might appeal Judge G. Michael Harvey's decision to order the release of the men, Haider Ali and Arian Taherzadeh.

Harvey said the men, who had been in jail since their arrest last week, can be released into the custody of relatives who live in the Washington area, and that they would be confined to those residences, and monitored by global positioning satellite devices.

Harvey stayed his decision until 9 a.m. Wednesday, to give prosecutors time to decide whether to appeal his bail decision.

Prosecutors, who said the men who duped Secret Service agents and others with their claims of being Department of Homeland Security agents, had asked Harvey to detain both men pending their trial, calling them a threat to the public.

Filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
Courtesy: U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
Filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia

A cache of weapons and police equipment were found in apartments maintained by the men, who loaned two expensive apartments to two Secret Service agents, prosecutors have said. They also called Ali a flight risk, given his history of travel to Pakistan and Iran.

Prosecutors said that while the men were claiming to be engaged in covert operations for DHS, "they compromised United States Secret Service (USSS) personnel involved in protective details and with access to the White House complex by lavishing gifts upon them, including rent-free living."

But Harvey said that the case did not meet the standards for denying bail to a defendant, particularly since neither man is charged with a crime of violence.

"In a case like this, release should be the norm," Harvey said.

"It's not a crime of violence. It is a felony, but it is a felony with a maximum period of incarceration of three years."

The judge also noted that if the duo is convicted of the crime, sentencing guidelines would recommend a jail term of just zero to six months, the lowest possible range for incarceration under those guidelines.

Four Secret Service agents who had contact with the men have been placed on administrative leave.

Among the witnesses against the men are Secret Service agents who were assigned to first lady Jill Biden's protective detail and the White House.

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