Man accused in Washington, DC impersonation case may have ties to KC

Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 9:26 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - A man charged with impersonating a federal officer in order to cozy up with Secret Service agents — including someone on the first lady’s security detail — may have ties to Kansas City.

Arian Taherzadeh, 40, appeared before a federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

When someone contacted KCTV5 to say Taherzadeh went to high school in the Kansas City metro, KCTV5 checked Missouri court records. We found a man with the same name and a year of birth that matches with the age of the man charged in D.C., along with multiple addresses in Kansas City’s Northland during the 1990s and 2000s.

On Wednesday, FBI agents searched apartments and cars at a luxury apartment building in Washington, D.C.

Federal court documents say Taherzadeh claimed to be a Homeland Security Intelligence, or HSI, Special Agent.

The charge alleges Taherzadeh sent photos of himself wearing an HIS vest to a Secret Service agent and texted the same agent a photo of an HSI classroom. He said he was there for in-service training at the moment he texted. However, it was actually a photo from the agency’s Twitter account.

The charge further alleges the following:

  • He and another man “attempted to use their false and fraudulent affiliation with DHS to ingratiate themselves with members of federal law enforcement and the defense community.”
  • He provided members of the Secret Service and a Homeland Security employee with “rent-free apartments” that rent for $40,000 a year.
  • He “…offered to purchase a $2,000 assault rifle for a United [States] Secret Service Agent assigned to the First Lady’s protective detail.”

In Missouri court records, KCTV5 found a man named Arian Taherzadeh who was born in 1981, and a long list of traffic offenses and lawsuits that placed him living at various Platte County addresses from 1999 to 2007. Later cases filed in Jackson and Clay counties showed him living at addresses in D.C. suburbs.

On Thursday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Rothstein detailed to the Associated Press what FBI agents discovered during their search.

The list includes body armor, gas masks, zip ties, drones, police training manuals, surveillance equipment, a high-power telescope, and a binder with information on all the residents in the building.

The Associated Press reports that residents there include law enforcement, defense officials and Congressional staff.

The investigation started not because of any tip, but because a postal inspector was at the apartment building investigating an assault on a mail carrier and residents pointed them to Taherzadeh and the other man as possible witnesses. What residents said about the men had the inspector concerned enough to inform Homeland Security, and it went from there.