Judge jails Michigan man in Capitol insurrection over guns, Facebook statements – MLive.com


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A Michigan man who allegedly entered the U.S. Capitol Building during the Jan. 6 insurrection will stay locked up pending transfer to Washington, D.C., to face charges.

Karl Dresch, 40, is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, a 20-year felony, and misdemeanors of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Marteen Vermaat was concerned about firearms and ammunition Dresch had in his Calumet home in the Upper Peninsula and statements he made on Facebook, both while in Washington and after he returned home.

The FBI recovered an SKS rifle with an unattached bayonet, a shotgun and a .40-caliber Glock handgun, along with ammunition for the firearms, in a search of his home. Dresch, with a 2013 felony conviction for fleeing and eluding police in Wisconsin, was not allowed to possess firearms.

There was no evidence presented Friday to show that Dresch brought firearms to Washington but Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Greeley said that an Atlanta Braves backpack Dresch had on Capitol grounds was found containing ammunition during the search of his house.

It also held a bus card from Washington and a walkie-talkie, Greeley said.

Dresch attended a rally for then-President Donald Trump on the morning before lawmakers were to confirm the Electoral College vote for President Joe Biden. After the rally, a large crowd gathered outside the Capitol Building before a riot broke out and many rushed the building.

Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.

The melee delayed the count for several hours.

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Vice President Mike Pence was presiding. Trump wanted Pence to reject the votes but Pence said he had no authority to do so.

The next morning, Dresch allegedly wrote on Facebook: “Mike Pence gave our country to the communist hordes, traitor scum like the rest of them, we have your back give the word and we will be back even stronger.”

Dresch, who has large “Trump 2020” banners on the front of his house, said in late November there would be “‘war everywhere if we let the election get stolen,’” the prosecutor said.

Trump, who lost the popular vote by 7 million votes, long claimed the election was stolen. He was impeached for allegedly inciting his supporters to charge the Capitol Building.

Beth LaCosse, an assistant federal defender, acknowledged that Dresch “does have some strong political views,” but said he should be released on bond. He has a child and other family members in the area and has stayed out of trouble. She said he could be released on electronic tether and would travel to Washington when required by the court there.

She said there was no evidence that her client had guns at the Capitol Building. He took photos but there was no evidence he was disruptive, either, she said.

Still, the judge was concerned about the firearms, his statements on Facebook and the conviction for fleeing and eluding police in 2013. Police in Wisconsin tried to stop him as speeds reached 145 mph before he was finally stopped in Michigan, the prosecutor said.

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