The 2 males arrested final week for impersonating Homeland Safety officers and allegedly having access to safety cameras in an condominium constructing that housed a number of federal legislation enforcement workers will stay in custody as a federal choose continues to contemplate whether or not they need to be launched pending trial.
U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide G. Michael Harvey held the second day of a detention listening to for Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali, who had been arrested Wednesday following a late-afternoon raid of a Washington, D.C. condominium constructing.
In response to prosecutors, Taherzadeh and Ali posed as Homeland Safety brokers for years, utilizing their false identities to get near precise legislation enforcement officers, together with a Secret Service agent assigned to the element of First Woman Dr. Jill Biden. They allegedly supplied items to residents, lots of whom work for federal legislation enforcement companies, together with the FBI, Secret Service, Homeland Safety, the Division of Protection, and the Navy.
Taherzadeh and Ali additionally allegedly gained entry to the safety system for the complete condominium complicated.
“When the Solely Instrument You Have Is a Hammer, Every part Is a Nail.”
Taherzadeh’s legal professional Michelle Peterson stated Monday that the federal government is overreaching in its allegations in opposition to her consumer.
“When the one device you could have is a hammer, the whole lot is a nail,” Peterson stated.
Peterson particularly addressed the allegations that Taherzadeh tried to unload proof after having been “tipped off” as to his forthcoming arrest.
“Sooner or later after Taherzadeh was knowledgeable of the Authorities’s investigation final Tuesday, it seems that he and/or Ali tried to hide proof of their crimes by transport it out of their condominium complicated,” an FBI transient filed Sunday stated. “In the course of the execution of the search warrant, in Penthouse 5, legislation enforcement found transport supplies and UPS labels which raised concern that proof was being secreted from the premises. These considerations proved true. On Thursday, April 7, 2022, a USSS Uniformed Division Officer referenced within the criticism and assigned to the White Home, Witness 3, acquired a bundle despatched through UPS Subsequent Day Air. The return handle on the label was ‘USSP’ and corresponded to Ali and Taherzadeh’s condominium complicated.”
In response to prosecutors, that bundle contained cigars and firearm circumstances, though not circumstances that matched any of the firearms seized throughout the arrest.
A supplemental submitting from the federal government clarified that the objects within the bundle belonged to the witness.
“When Witness 3 realized for the primary time from the FBI what the field had contained, he said that the firearms circumstances and cigars might need been objects that he had left behind in Penthouse 5,” the federal government’s submitting stated. “Accordingly, to verify whether or not the circumstances belonged to Witness 3, FBI brokers met Witness 3 at his condominium late this night as quickly as he returned from out-of-state journey and examined Witness 3’s firearms. The three firearms circumstances that had been mailed to Witness 3 final week correspond to a few firearms that Witness 3 owns.”
Peterson known as the federal government’s supplemental submitting a “recantation” and stated that Taherzadeh was merely returning the objects to its rightful proprietor.
Prosecutor Joshua Rothstein countered that that Taherzadeh’s timing in returning the objects is additional proof of obstruction, because the witness informed investigators that he had met with Taherzadeh on a weekly foundation for dinner, however “not as soon as did [Taherzadeh] ever return the firearm case. It was solely the day after he was contacted inadvertently and tipped off.”
Taherzadeh’s father, Masoud Taherzadeh, pleaded with Harvey to launch his son into his custody, saying that he would give up his job working for a granite and marble firm in Virginia as a way to be sure that Taherzadeh didn’t violate any pretrial launch circumstances.
“I work and my spouse works, however in case you had been sort sufficient and launch him to my custody I’ll give up my job,” the daddy stated. “I’ll keep at house.”
“They Have Been Making a Mountain Out of a Molehill.”
Ali’s legal professional, Gregory Smith, additionally voiced alarm as to the federal government’s strategy to this case.
“I’ve been doing this a very long time, greater than 35 years, greater than 30 years in federal felony protection,” Smith stated. There have been instances in my profession the place I’ve seen the federal government get out over its skis. That is such the case.”
Smith stated that whereas it may be “embarrassing” for the federal government to “dial it again,” it’s worse in a case comparable to this, the place he says the federal government has “dialed up” most of the people’s expectations.
“Certain, it could be tough to publicly admit that the info merely haven’t validated their theories,” Smith stated. Nonetheless, he added, the “actual” impersonation is that this case “impersonating a nationwide safety menace, and impersonating my consumer as a Pakistani intelligence contact.”
Smith stated that such allegations are “totally false, preposterous.”
He famous that his consumer is a highschool graduate, deemed to be indigent and unable to afford his personal legal professional.
“There’s no Pakistani operative coming in and discovering him retained counsel,” Smith stated, including that the high-profile arrest of his consumer will observe him “for the remainder of his life.”
Smith additionally stated that he has been contacted by the Wall Avenue Journal, Good Morning America, and different media organizations who’re “spinning up a media frenzy,” and added that “the fact is that they’ve been making a mountain out of a molehill.”
Smith scoffed at the concept Ali is a flight threat, noting that Ali has a spouse and 4 kids within the U.S., and has solely visited Pakistan a handful of instances.
The concept Ali would “go abroad to keep away from a 3-year felony offense borders on ridiculous,” Smith stated.
Harvey didn’t attain a call throughout the late-afternoon listening to on Monday, and known as the events again for a listening to Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.
[Images via FBI court filings.]
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