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The leader of a right-wing extremist group learned days in advance that he would be arrested for his actions after a pro-Trump rally through his conversations with a D.C. police lieutenant, according to testimony in federal court Wednesday.

Enrique Tarrio was arrested on Jan. 4, 2021, for his part in burning a Black Lives Matter flag stolen from a historic African American church weeks earlier. The evidence played in court during the trial of Tarrio and four other Proud Boys leaders who face seditious conspiracy charges show the far-right figure appeared fully aware of what was coming, thanks to his “source” in the D.C. Police Department.

Tarrio has argued Shane Lamond, a 22-year-veteran of the D.C. police, is a key witness who could show there was no Proud Boys conspiracy to overthrow the government because the group shared its plans with a law enforcement officer. But the messages shown in court Wednesday reveal how much the then-head of intelligence for the D.C. police was sharing with Tarrio during the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Lamond was suspended with pay from the D.C. police a year ago and is under federal investigation for his contacts with Tarrio; he has not been charged with a crime. In a statement Wednesday, Lamond’s attorney Mark E. Schamel said his client did nothing to aid Jan. 6 rioters and “was only communicating with these individuals because the mission required it.”

He added that Lamond “was instrumental” to Tarrio’s arrest and “there is no legitimate law enforcement officer who is familiar with the facts of this case who would opine otherwise.”

On the evening of Dec. 30, 2020, Lamond and Tarrio had a call lasting nearly 15 minutes, during which Tarrio sent out a bulletin to Proud Boys leaders calling for an “Emergency voice chat.”

Tarrio made it harder for investigators to follow the conversation by setting his messages from around that time to auto delete, FBI Special Agent Peter Dubrowski testified, but responses from other Proud Boys indicate that Tarrio had shared with them that he would be arrested soon.

On Jan. 4, 2021, as he flew to D.C. from Miami, Tarrio told other Proud Boys, “The warrant was just signed.” He was pulled over and arrested driving into the city from the airport.

According to the court record, by that point Lamond had been giving Tarrio inside information for at least six months. D.C. police declined to comment Wednesday on the court testimony, citing the ongoing investigation.

On Nov. 7, 2020, when news networks declared that Joe Biden had won the 2020 election over Donald Trump, Lamond offered a tip about the right-wing social media site Parler.

“Alerts are being sent out to law enforcement that Parler accounts of your people are talking about mobilizing and taking back the country and getting people spun up,” Lamond wrote.

Later that day, Lamond added, “Just giving you a heads up. Let’s keep this between you and me.” Lamond said that he and Tarrio needed to talk on an encrypted application.

Prosecutors have used Parler messages to bolster their case that the Proud Boys mobilized for violence on Jan. 6 — particularly one in which Tarrio described co-defendant Dominic Pezzola as one of the “Lords of War.” The following week, Pezzola was at the Capitol the front of the mob and was filmed using a police riot shield to break a window into the building.

A week after Lamond’s warning, as members of the Proud Boys gathered for a pro-Trump rally, Lamond warned that the group’s preferred gathering spot — a bar called Harry’s — was in danger of getting shut down by the city, according to Dubrowski. That night, Proud Boys were involved in violent clashes across downtown D.C. Lamond at one point warned Tarrio, “We just locked up one of your guys at 14th and K.” He then added, “We cut your guy loose. Victim could not be located.”

The following month, after another Trump rally, four members of the Proud Boys were stabbed while others stole and defaced Black Lives Matter banners hanging outside African American churches. (Tarrio later pleaded to burning the banner and to a charge of attempted possession of a high-capacity ammunition magazine. He was sentenced to five months in jail.) Lamond told Tarrio that a suspect in the stabbing was under arrest but also that Tarrio himself was under criminal investigation, according to the court exhibits.

“Hey brother did you call in an anonymous tip to FBI claiming responsibility for the banner burning?” Lamond asked on Dec. 18, four days after the incident.

“I did more than that. It’s on my social media,” Tarrio replied.

Lamond volunteered to check with the criminal investigators “to see if they have you on video.” He then cautioned that the FBI and U.S. Secret Service were “all spun up” about a comment Tarrio made on a show on Infowars that in the future Proud Boys would disguise themselves as supporters of Joe Biden. “Got an email first thing this morning,” Lamond said, with an emoji of a shocked face.

Tarrio subsequently reached out to Lamond to ask whether the banner burning was being investigated as a federal hate crime, subject to higher possible penalties. Lamond told him the case was being handled by the police, not the FBI, and that he told investigators that the Proud Boys were not racist, according to the messages read in court.

Tarrio then appeared to relay the news to a Proud Boys leadership group.

“We got the jump on the narrative for the banner burning. This should make it next to impossible for them to use the ‘hate crime’ enhancement … as per my contact at DC Metro,” Tarrio wrote in a text message.

Shortly after noon on Christmas Day, Lamond shared that he believed an arrest might be imminent because he had been asked to identify Tarrio in a photograph from Parler.

“So they may be submitting arrest warrant” to prosecutors, Lamond said in a text to Tarrio.

Tarrio’s defense attorneys were the first to introduce conversations between Lamond and Tarrio, arguing that the correspondence indicates the Proud Boys were cooperative with police and had nothing to hide. They had sought to put Lamond on the stand but said in court the lieutenant had invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

But Judge Timothy J. Kelly said in court Wednesday that the conversations revealed a “closeness” and “inappropriateness” that undercut Tarrio’s defense. Under questioning, Dubrowski testified that it was not typical for law enforcement to share with sources information on investigations, charges and arrests.

“I’ve never heard of it,” Dubrowski said.

On direct examination, defense attorney Sabino Jauregui presented the relationship with Lamond as evidence that Tarrio was an asset and ally to police. In December 2020, Lamond asked Tarrio for help figuring out where Alex Jones was next planning to speak because D.C. police had heard “conflicting locations.” Jauregui said Tarrio responded with assistance and also identified to Lamond a woman who engaged in violence on Jan. 6.

“Enrique Tarrio cooperated with law enforcement,” Jauregui said.

Jauregui suggested that the FBI was or should have been aware of these interactions in advance of Jan. 6. Dubrowski responded that he had “no reason to believe Shane Lamond was coordinating with the FBI.”

Jauregui also accused prosecutors of dragging a highly decorated officer’s name “through mud.” He said conversations not shown in court make clear that Lamond was sharing valuable information on the Proud Boys with his department, some of which was sent on to the U.S. Capitol Police.

It is not uncommon for authorities to negotiate a surrender with criminal suspects who have been charged in a warrant, though those instances are typically coordinated among police, prosecutors and defense attorneys. Tarrio has said he was arrested at gunpoint in a traffic stop as he drove into D.C.

Tarrio was set free the next day to await trial, but barred from the District, keeping him out of the nation’s capital on Jan. 6.

He has previously hinted that he knew he would be arrested, including in a videotaped meeting with the founder of the extremist group Oath Keepers. It was not clear until Wednesday how Tarrio learned explicitly about the arrest.

Released videos show Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio meeting Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes the day before the attack on the Capitol. (Video: U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia)

Before his suspension, Lamond led the D.C. police intelligence unit. In addition to Tarrio, he corresponded with an anti-racism activist pretending to be the leader of a neo-Nazi group.

Law enforcement agencies typically keep in contact with members of extremist groups, sometimes going undercover to learn about violent or subversive plots, but also openly to plan logistics around demonstrations. At times, such interactions can appear friendly. But police experts have said any contacts with such groups need to be closely supervised and documented, and police should not divulge information about internal policies or operations.

“At no time did Lt. Lamond ever assist or support the hateful and divisive agenda of any of the various groups that came to DC to protest,” Schamel said in his statement. “Lamond’s conduct was appropriate and always focused on the protection of the citizens of Washington, D.C.”

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