- A woman in Florida was arrested and charged after her January 6 Facebook posts caught the FBI’s attention.
- Jody Tagaris was identified at the Capitol riot by one of her coworkers and an anonymous tipster.
- According to court documents, her own posts and cell phone data also helped investigators build a case.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
A former prominent player in Palm Beach County’s conservative circles was arrested earlier this month over her alleged participation in the deadly January 6 Capitol insurrection, which investigators were able to confirm with the help of the woman’s own social media posts and one of her coworkers.
Jody Tagaris, 67, faces four federal misdemeanor charges, including entering and remaining in a restricted building, and disorderly and disruptive conduct in a Capitol building, according to charging documents.
In mid-January, the FBI was alerted to a Facebook post under the name Jody Echevarria-Tagaris, that featured a photo of the defendant which indicated she had entered the US Capitol during the pro-Trump attack earlier that month, according to court documents.
The photo showed a woman dressed in distinct clothing, including an American Flag scarf, a unique US Olympics American flag jacket, and a red “Make America Great Again” hat, posing in the frame of a broken window next to the Senate Wing Door at the Capitol with the caption, “The Capital … back at hotel safe! Got tear gassed but okay!”
According to investigators, the FBI then identified a coworker of Tagaris, who confirmed the Facebook account belonged to Tagaris and identified her in the photo. A different anonymous tipster alerted authorities to Tagaris’ photo and provided another Facebook photo of Tagaris in the same American flag jacket that showed her face uncovered, according to investigators.
The FBI obtained a warrant to search the Facebook account, where they found an unmasked photo of Tagaris posted on January 6 in the same attire, court documents said. Investigators also found statements Tagaris made on Facebook about her travels to Washington, DC, on January 5 in order to attend former President Donald Trump’s rally.
Surveillance video from the Capitol on January 6 and Washington Metropolitan Police Officers’ body camera footage also captured Tagaris in and around the Capitol throughout January 6, according to investigators.
During the investigation, the FBI used Tagaris’ listed phone number on Facebook to confirm the number belonged to her and then to obtain a search warrant showing Tagaris’ cell phone location data placed her at multiple locations around the US Capitol on January 6.
Tagaris had a video hearing in West Palm Beach on Tuesday where she was released after posting a $50,000 bond, according to The Palm Beach Post. She will next enter a plea in federal court at an unspecified date.
Tagaris’ defense attorney did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
During the early 2000s, Tagaris played a prominent role in Palm Beach County’s Republican community, according to The Palm Beach Post. Then Jody Warmack, she served as a member of the executive committee of the county’s Republican Party, associating with top lawmakers like the late US Rep. E. Clay Shaw.
In 2002, she lost a primary race for county commissioner in a landslide to Mary McCarty.
In later years, she became involved in a hostile fight with her wealthy ex-husband’s children, according to The Palm Beach Post, who accused her of kidnapping their sick father, Nicholas Tagaris, and remarrying him as a way to access his money.
She eventually agreed to divorce him a second time and return millions in assets in exchange for $100,000, a $460,000 house, and a Porsche, The Palm Beach Post reported.