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'Pink Beret' identified, charged in Capitol riot case thanks to tweet from ex

Jennifer Inzunza Vargas Geller was charged with four misdemeanor counts for allegedly entering the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

WASHINGTON — A tweet from an ex-boyfriend led to federal prosecutors filing charges Monday against a California woman accused of cheering on the destruction of barricades at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and ushering others into the building before going inside herself.

According to charging documents, after the FBI released a BOLO with photographs of a woman online sleuths had nicknamed #PinkBeret they received a tip about a Twitter post from an individual who claimed he’d previously dated her. Images included in the tweets appeared to show the woman with the same black Dolce and Gabbana bag she carried at the Capitol on Jan. 6. The charges were first reported by NBC News Monday evening.

A second tipster, who indicated they’d previously dated the woman as well, provided investigators with the woman’s name: Jennifer Inzunza Vargas Geller. The tipster provided the FBI with screenshots of text messages they’d allegedly exchanged with Vargas Geller after Jan. 6, including one where she was asked if she was on the no-fly list.

“Nope, cause I didn’t go into the capital [sic],” Vargas Geller replied.

Credit: Department of Justice
Jennifer Inzunza Vargas Geller, of Calfornia, was identified thanks to a tweet from an ex-boyfriend.

According to investigators, Vargas Geller did enter the Capitol, however. Surveillance footage allegedly shows Vargas Geller was inside the building from 2:24-2:43 p.m. and again from 2:48-2:52 p.m. Investigators said she first entered the building through the Senate Wing doors and walked through the Crypt before exiting through a broken window. She’s accused of later reentering through a different entrance near the Parliamentarian’s Office. Vargas Geller can also been seen appearing to “usher” others into the building near the second entrance, investigators said.

On the grounds, investigators said publicly available footage shows Vargas Geller cheering on other rioters as they destroy bike rack barricades and handing a black bag of equipment left by media who had been chased off by rioters to another individual, who walks away with it.

On Monday, prosecutors filed four misdemeanor counts against Vargas Geller, including counts of entering a restricted building or grounds and disorderly and disruptive conduct. As of Tuesday afternoon, she had not been taken into custody and a warrant remained open for her arrest.

Prior to her identification, Vargas Geller had been the subject of speculation online about her identity and possible links to law enforcement. A D.C. resident scheduled to go to trial later this month on civil disorder and theft charges, Darrell Neely, suggested in court filings that Vargas Geller had “targeted” him – possibly to entrap him.

In a February filing, Neely argued Vargas Geller seemed to have “information well beyond that of a normal citizen there to protest” and asked a judge to allow him to ask government witnesses at trial “whether Pink Beret was somehow part of the planning of the Capitol breach as a government agent or cooperator.”

Prosecutors called that suggestion an “improbable flight of fancy” and U.S. District Judge John Bates described the possible testimony Neely said the woman might be able to provide as “no more than speculation.” The charging documents filed Monday contain no indication Vargas Geller has any affiliation with law enforcement.

On Tuesday, Neely's attorney, Kira Anne West, said they "absolutely" still believe Vargas Geller might have ties to law enforcement and suggested prosecutors had indicted her to prevent the defense from questioning her at trial.

Neely was scheduled to begin a jury trial on May 22. He has been held in pre-trial detention since late last year after missing multiple court hearings.

We're tracking all of the arrests, charges and investigations into the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Sign up for our Capitol Breach Newsletter here so that you never miss an update.


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