(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com)– A Mercer County woman who was among the first people to break through Capital grounds during the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the United States Capitol has been sentenced after being convicted of nine felony and misdemeanor charges related to the incident.
According to U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of PA, Rachel Marie Powell, 43, of Sandy Lake, PA was sentenced to 57 months in prison and 36 months of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth. Powell has also been ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution, fines and fees.
Powell was first convicted back on July, 18 on charges list of charges including civil disorder; obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting; entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; engaging in physical violence in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon; destruction of government property; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building; act of physical violence in the Capitol grounds or buildings; and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.
Evidence presented during Powell’s trial showed she was among the first rioters to break onto Capitol grounds near Peach Circle. She also pushed against barricades and encouraged other rioters to attack police officers protecting the building.
Powell entered the Capitol after the West Plaza was breached by climbing up to the Lower West Terrace and climbing through a broken window. Evidence later showed her using an ice axe and a battering ram to break through a different window and breach the Capitol at a different location while encouraging others to enter the building.
She first attended former President Trump’s rally prior to joining rioters at the Capitol and could be seen wearing a pink hat and using a bullhorn to give other rioters instructions on how to gain control of the Capitol.
The day following the attack on the Capitol building, Powell posted “we have given you all a chance to help us settle this peacefully. We have been patient. The time is up.” on social media and bragged about her actions during to law enforcement.
On January 7, Powell wrote: “IT WAS F–ING WAR TO GET IN. IF YOU WERE NOT HERE THEN STFU.” In another post, she wrote: “There were lots of security. They had to retreat into the building and fight back because patriots were relentless.” In another, Powell replied, “They didn’t open the gates. The people trampled them. It was war.”
Powell was arrested by the FBI on Feb. 4, 2021 and was charged with the nine counts in a superseding indictment by a federal grand jury.
This case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section. Assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania and was investigated by the FBI’s Pittsburgh and Washington Office.
In the 33 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 1,100 individuals have been charged in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including more than 400 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement, a felony. The investigation remains ongoing.