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Local mom in custody for role in violence at U.S. Capitol will stay in prison until next hearing

SANDY LAKE, Pa. — Rachel Powell, the local mother of eight who has been on-the-run from the FBI, is now in custody and will stay there until her next hearing.

She turned herself in to the FBI in New Castle Thursday night, officials said. Powell was taken to the Butler County Prison, which is a holding facility for federal inmates, about 1 a.m. Friday.

Powell is charged with obstruction, depredation of government property, restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon, restricted building or grounds and violent entry or disorderly conduct.

Powell’s attorney, Michael Engle, released this statement to Channel 11:

“Rachel Powell is neither a danger to her community or a risk of flight. She hired counsel to assist her in turning herself in to the FBI and to address these charges. It is inconceivable that she would try to run and leave her children without their mother.”

Powell didn’t speak during a hearing Friday afternoon, other than to give her name. Her next hearing will be Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 2:30 p.m. and she will be held in the Butler County Prison until then. Sources told Channel 11 she’s unhappy about wearing a mask in jail.

Agents searched Powell’s property in Sandy Lake, Mercer County, on Thursday, but she wasn’t there.

Channel 11 spoke with Powell Thursday afternoon as the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking for her in connection with the violence at the U.S. Capitol last month. She was seen on video wearing a pink hat and holding a bullhorn, directing people during the January attack.

At one point during the violence, Powell was “clearly seen speaking through a bullhorn and giving very detailed instructions about the layout of the Capitol building,” according to charging documents.

She’s also accused of telling a group of people that they should “coordinate together if you are going to take this building” and that they “have another window to break,” the charging documents stated.

Photos allegedly show Powell using a large pipe to break windows of the Capitol to get inside.

Marcinkiewicz had a quick conversation with a woman who picked up Powell’s phone and did not deny that she was her. Marcinkiewicz had been calling her for two days and the phone ringing straight to voicemail.

The conversation lasted about a minute, and Marcinkiewicz asked her if she knew the FBI was at her house, if she was still in the area and if she was somewhere safe.

There was a lot of dead air, but she did tell Marcinkiewicz to call her back on Friday and she would talk then. That likely won’t happen now that Powell is in custody.

Three other people from Sharon, Bridgeville and Oakdale are facing charges in connection with what happened in Washington D.C. that day.

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