Proud Boys chairman Enrique Tarrio rallies in Portland, Ore.
CNN  — 

An FBI agent testified Wednesday that a Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department officer told the leader of the Proud Boys that he might be arrested in the days before January 6, 2021.

Agent Peter Dubrowski told a jury in the seditious conspiracy trial against five members of the far-right group about Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio’s relationship with Metropolitan Police Lt. Shane Lamond, whom Tarrio spoke with several times before the US Capitol riot.

Their relationship, Dubrowski testified, went beyond what was appropriate for a law enforcement agent talking to a source.

His testimony is part of a core disagreement between prosecutors and defense attorneys as to whether Tarrio, and the Proud Boys as a whole, wanted to help law enforcement or were prepared to be violent against them.

The defendants have all pleaded not guilty.

In several instances, Lamond appeared to warn Tarrio about aspects of the investigation into whether Tarrio burned a DC church’s Black Lives Matter flag in December 2020, Dubrowski testified. Tarrio was later charged with destruction of property for the flag burning and pleaded guilty.

Lamond was placed on administrative leave by the Metropolitan Police Department in February 2022, and was still on leave as of December 2022. MPD has not commented on the reasons why Lamond was placed on leave and did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

“Lt. Lamond’s duties as the commander of the MPD Intelligence Branch required him to establish lines of communications with every group that came to protest or march in Washington, DC,” Lamond’s attorney Mark Schamel, a partner at Venable LLP, told CNN. Schamel said Lamond was “only communicating with these individuals because the mission required it. Lt. Lamond was instrumental in the arrest of the defendant for his burning of the BLM flag and there is no legitimate law enforcement officer who is familiar with the facts of this case who would opine otherwise.”

According to messages shown by the government, Lamond told Tarrio he would “check with our [investigative] people to see if they have you on video” and told Tarrio which law enforcement agencies were investigating the flag burning.

Tarrio told other Proud Boys members about the investigation, prosecutors said, claiming he got information from “my contact at DC metro.”

Leading up to Tarrio’s arrest on January 4, 2021, Lamond told Tarrio an arrest could be coming, Dubrowski testified.

Prosecutors said Lamond messaged Tarrio in late December 2020, saying that investigators “had me ID you from a photo” and that “they may be submitting an arrest warrant to the US attorney’s office.” On the day of Tarrio’s arrest, Lamond sent Tarrio a self-deleting message. Prosecutors said they do not have a record of what the message said. The Proud Boys leader messaged other leaders of the group soon after, saying that an arrest warrant had been signed.

Prosecutors showed other messages between Lamond and Tarrio where the officer gave Tarrio several warnings, including that the group might have “a leak” within the Proud Boys and that they “need to switch to encrypted” because posts on the social media platform Parler were getting law enforcement “spun up.”

Attorneys for Tarrio have argued in court that their client was trying to assist police by sharing the organization’s plans with Lamond whenever they came to the city. Tarrio could not have been plotting to overthrow the government, his attorneys say, because he was telling Lamond about their plans.

Tarrio’s lawyer Sabino Jauregui criticized prosecutors on Wednesday, arguing that they were intentionally trying to make Lamond look like a “dirty cop” to discredit Lamond as a potential defense witness. He also argued that provided useful information to the officer, which Lamond sent to his superiors and to the Capitol Police’s intelligence unit director at the time.


Dubrowski’s testimony undercuts the baseless theory pushed by right-wing figures that individuals who participated in the January 6 attack were convinced to do so by undercover FBI agents.

He testified Wednesday there were no undercover agents on any of the far-right group’s chat rooms before January 6.

The agent testified, however, that some members of the organization acted as informants, detailing to FBI aspects of what the Proud Boys were discussing.

The Proud Boys were paranoid about what they called “feds” infiltrating their organization, according to recorded video calls and encrypted messages between group members, including defendants Tarrio and Joseph Biggs.

According to chat records, the group ousted at least one person they believed was an informant. Tarrio messaged other leaders that the individual needed to be “removed from all chats you guys are included in. ASAP.”