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'Pink Beret': Ex-boyfriend helps FBI identify alleged Jan. 6 rioter

Posted at 2:01 PM, May 08, 2023

An alleged Jan. 6 insurrectionist who came to be known as "Pink Beret" was turned into the FBI by her ex-boyfriend after the bureau posted photos of her, according to NBC News.

In late April, the FBI Washington Field Office tweeted two images of a young woman in a pink hat, white jacket and black gloves at the U.S Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, asking anyone who recognized her to contact the FBI. The woman's attire led many on social media to compare her to a character out of a Wes Anderson film.

Online sleuths had previously compiled videos and photos of the woman, but had no luck identifying her.

Then her ex-boyfriend saw the FBI photos.

"I stopped dead in my tracks," said the man, who asked NBC News not to be named to avoid harassment and threats. "I'm like, 'That's Jenny.'"

The man, who was shown the photos by a friend while they were waiting in the checkout line at a Joann Fabric and Crafts store, sent a tip to the FBI.

A law enforcement official confirmed to NBC News that the FBI had identified the woman as the man's ex, Jennifer Inzuza Vargas of Los Angeles.

The ex-boyfriend said their months-long relationship came to an end after he discovered she was reading Hitler's "Mein Kampf."

"I was just instantly turned off," he said.

"Pink Beret" was also mentioned in the case against Jan. 6 defendant Darrell Neely, whose lawyer said in a court filing that she "led him through the Capitol" on Jan. 6.

The court filing alleged "Pink Beret" was among the first group of Trump supporters to breach barricades on the Capitol grounds. She ran across the lawn in heels and used a stick or broken flag pole as a baton to direct people into the Capitol, according to Neely's lawyer.

File: Photos of woman identified as "Pink Beret" in filing of Jan. 6, 2021, defendant Darrell Neely.

At some point "Pink Beret" and Neely met and entered the building together through the Senate Wing doors, the lawyers said, citing images and video taken that day.

"They enter hand in hand and stop to take photos," the filing said. "Pink Beret is smiling the whole time with no indication she has just met Mr. Neely only moments before."

The two wander around the building to the Capitol Visitors' Center where "things start to get strange," the filing said. "Pink Beret immediately turns around when Neely isn't looking and runs to the escalator shaft. She ducks down and removes her beret and continues up the escalator in a crouched position."

Neely is then seen looking for her, but can't find her. She is later seen "getting cozy" with "another stranger" and at a "media smash event."

"She had associates in the building that day and seemed to have information well beyond that of a normal citizen there to protest. Mr. Neely needs to know who she is and why she was there. He also needs to understand if he was targeted by her that day and for what purpose," Neely's lawyer wrote, suggesting that the woman could be a government agent.

The government said it was "unaware of any evidence to support that contention."

"There is no evidence that the woman in the pink beret was a member of law enforcement," the government said in a court filing.