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Home / insurrection

2 OC women charged in connection with Jan. 6 Capitol breach

Two Orange County women have been arrested and charged in federal court in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot, according to court records obtained Monday.

Michelle Estey of Newport Beach and Melanie Belger of Tustin were arrested Friday in connection with a federal complaint filed Sept. 16, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In an affidavit from the FBI, an investigator wrote the agency received a tip in June of last year that stated, “During a dinner with friends … they revealed that their friend, Michelle Estey, was amongst the people that stormed and entered the Capitol Building on Jan. 6th of this year.”

The FBI reviewed a YouTube video in December titled, “D.C. Burning – Jan. 6th DC Riots,” which allegedly showed the two women in the Capitol during the unrest, the affidavit alleged.

According to the FBI, Estey climbed through a broken window and was in the Capitol building for “several minutes with other rioters while furniture was being destroyed, desks and drawers rummaged and files ransacked and searched,” and then climbed out the broken window to get out.

The FBI also received “tips and complaints” that Belger also participated in the riot, the affidavit alleged. The FBI included an image from an alleged Facebook post from Belger that declared, “I am at the Capitol doors been roped sprayed. Round 2 coming,” the affidavit alleged.

Another alleged post read, “Back at hotel! Was in the Capitol im safe.. Pence=NOT SAFE,” the FBI alleged.

They are charged in the District of Columbia with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol Building.

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