WASHINGTON, May 19 (Reuters) – The head of an intelligence unit in the Washington, DC, police department is facing criminal charges after allegedly alerting the leader of the far-right Proud Boys group to an arrest warrant and leaking other law enforcement information, a The indictment shown released Friday.
Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Shane Lamond gave Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio confidential information about an investigation into the 2020 burning of a “Black Lives Matter” banner stolen from a church in the U.S. capital and later told him he would be arrested in the case, the US Department of Justice informs.
Lamond, who oversaw the intelligence division of the police department’s Homeland Security Bureau, also made false and misleading statements to federal law enforcement agents about his communications with Tarrio, the Justice Department said.
A federal grand jury indicted Lamond, who was arrested Friday, on one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statements. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Police said Lamond, who has worked for the force for 24 years, was placed on administrative leave in February 2022 because of the U.S. investigation.
His attorney, Mark Schamel, said in a statement that Lamond’s job “required contact with extremist groups that sought to undermine our democracy on Jan. 6, but he does not, and never has, supported their views.” Schamel said the evidence at trial would show the charges were “unfairly levied.”
According to the indictment, Lamond and Tarrio had been in regular contact since 2019. Prosecutors revealed communications between the two, including a text exchange after the 2020 presidential election, in which Democrat Joe Biden defeated then-President Donald Trump.
Lamond wrote: “Hey bro, sad, sad news today. Y’all planning whatever.”
“Yes,” Tarrio replied.
Tarrio pleaded guilty to the charges in the Black Lives banner case and was sentenced in 2021 to five months in prison.
A jury in a separate case this month convicted Tarrio and other members of the Proud Boys of seditious conspiracy involving the Trump supporters’ attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021.
Writing by Susan Heavey;
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