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Gloucester woman charged after Capitol attack due to social media photo tip to FBI

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Posted at 10:13 AM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 10:17:42-05

GLOUCESTER, Va. - A Gloucester woman was arrested and is now facing several charges in reference to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

According to the FBI, Melody Steele-Smith, has been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds. She was arrested by the FBI on January 20.

The FBI says officials received an online tip that directed them to a Facebook page that officials confirm to be Steele-Smith. Photos posted on the Facebook page showed images of her in the Capitol including pictures in Nancy Pelosi's office.

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Court documents show that Steele-Smith commented under one photo stating, "I was there. I'm trying to figure out how I could be there all day and miss this violence destruction I'm seeing on TV. I think photos for the news were staged. I hope they come for me my videos will show the peace and lies on the news. We are all fools for believing the government and the news on either side."

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The posts have been since deleted from the account, according to court documents.

Officials say based on the surveillance footage in the Capitol, law enforcement identified a woman consistent with Steele-Smith's appearance walking through the Senate hallway near Pelosi's office.

Steele-Smith is scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Friday morning.

Related: Local man seen wearing 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt during Capitol riots released after arrest