WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors have dubbed two men accused of spending the last two years impersonating federal agents as “practiced liars who perpetrated a long-term deception.”
Arian Taherzadeh and Haider Ali were in court Friday, facing charges for false impersonation of an officer of the United States. The two are due back in court on Monday.
On April 6, the FBI raided a luxury Navy Yard apartment complex called the Crossing, where Taherzadeh and Ali reside and were arrested.
People who live in the Crossing apartments told WUSA9 that they were personally questioned by the FBI about their neighbors, Taherzadeh and Ali, on Saturday.
“How does someone pretend to be a federal agent and then get away with it for so long?” Billie Garner, a Crossing resident asked. “How can we not run background checks on these people?”
Garner has been living in the Crossing building for just eight months. She’s asking the questions everyone seems to have about this case.
Garner said she’s never seen her former neighbors. But since their arrest, she's thought about relocating, “I was like, should we move? No, seriously? And of course, with the shooting that happened last night [near Nationals Park] … it’s definitely, you know, a problem,” she said.
The claims against the men are lengthy; from compromising a number of federal agencies and duping the Secret Service’s protective detail to the president and vice president.
An assistant U.S. Attorney said Ali told witnesses he was connected to Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI.
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Kaylee Jones has lived at the Crossing for only 8 months. On Saturday she was at home when she said the FBI questioned everyone in the building, floor by floor.
“They basically asked us, 'Did you know the people?' They showed us pictures of the two suspects and asked if we heard anything about them or ever seen them around the building,” Jones said in an interview with WUSA9.
Prosecutors claim a loaded Glock along with a Sig Sauer handgun were found in some of the five units occupied by the men.
“I think some amount of crime is expected obviously not stockpiling weapons. In your own building,” Garner said.
“It's definitely scary I mean, especially because we've lived here for so long. You didn't expect something this crazy to happen and this is kind of shocking especially because, you know, it's kind of a big community.”
Katie Marlow, a Boston native, has lived at the Crossing for a few months. She said this is probably the most “D.C. thing” she’s experienced so far.
“Unless something comes out to make me feel otherwise, I don't really feel like I was in danger in any way,” Marlow said. “It's D.C. So, I think you just sort of have to be ready for anything.”
A detention hearing held Friday for Taherzadeh and Ali will be continued Monday at 3:30 p.m. Both men are currently being held with no bond.