Jill Biden's secret service infiltrated by fake agents
The US first lady's secret service detail was infiltrated by 2 fake homeland security agents, 4 staffers have so far been suspended.
Two men in Washington DC were arrested for posing as Homeland Security agents, as they ran a scheme that had brought them closer to 4 agents from the Secret Service, including one agent on First Lady Jill Biden's detail, according to The Daily Beast.
Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 36, were arrested on Wednesday when agents from the FBI and US Postal Service cops stormed into their plush apartment and charged them with false impersonation of a federal officer.
The two posed as high-level Department of Homeland Security agents for more than two years, had official-looking IDs, carried Glock handguns, and drove black SUVs with emergency lights, and lived in luxury apartments. They used their means to get close to federal law enforcement officials, some of whom they lured to live with them in the same building.
Prosecutors say that the two men paid special attention to the Secret Service agents they got to know, trying to gift a member of Jill Biden's detail a $2,000 assault rifle, and even loaned a "government vehicle" to the agent's wife.
Gifts included electronics, and access to luxury apartments
Some other Secret Service personnel were granted access to rent-free apartments worth $40,000 a year in rent, in addition to "“iPhones, surveillance systems, a drone, a flat screen television, a case for storing an assault rifle, a generator, and law enforcement paraphernalia,” according to an unsealed affidavit filed in federal court.
Following the revelation of the fraud perpetrated by both men, “four members of the Secret Service were placed on administrative leave pending further investigation."
In one incident that showed how convincing both men were, they convinced an unnamed "applicant" to joint a task force they had invented. Their recruiting process, however, included shooting the applicant with an airsoft rifle to supposedly evaluate their pain tolerance, and had him research an unnamed individual who was a contractor for the Department of Defense.
They also set up fake websites to support their claim that they were members of a special force.
The plan fell apart when an assault on a mail carrier took place at an apartment complex. Neighbors told an investigator that the two may have witnessed the assault. When he went to question them, they said they were members of a US Special Police Investigation Unit, claiming it was a part of Homeland Security.
The investigator learned later that the men were in contact with several Secret Service members, and that they provided them with gifts. The information was passed along to the DHS inspector general, triggering an FBI investigation.
Witnesses claim they saw a significant amount of police equipment in their apartment, like SWAT vests, a large safe, computers, a high-powered telescope, and internal surveillance cameras. Taherzadeh and Ali also apparently told residents they could access their cellphones and personal information at any time.