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Calumet man charged with storming Capitol

Photo from U.S. District Court In this Facebook screenshot included in an FBI search affidavit, Karl Dresch stands with a Trump flag in the U.S. Capitol, where Trump supporters had overrun security in an effort to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral votes.

MARQUETTE — Hours after Joe Biden became president, a Calumet man appeared in federal court in connection with the mob that unsuccessfully tried to stop Congress from certifying his election.

Karl Dresch of Calumet is believed to be the first Michigan resident criminally charged for alleged involvement in the Capitol riots by President Donald J. Trump supporters on Jan. 6, shortly after the House and Senate had adjourned to their chambers to discuss an objection to Arizona’s results.

Police arrested Dresch Tuesday after a traffic stop in Calumet, and seized his cellphone, according to an FBI search warrant affidavit filed in federal court.

Dresch is the son of the late Steven Dresch, who was elected to one term representing the 110th District in the Michigan House of Representatives in 1990. Prior to serving in the House, Dresch was dean of Michigan Tech University’s College of Business and Economics, where he helped expose wrongdoing at Ventures, Tech’s economic development arm.

A year before his death in 2006, Dresch tipped off the FBI and members of Congress about explosives hidden in the former home of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols, a Michigan resident. Dresch received the tip from mob informant Gregory Scarpa, Jr.

His last high-profile case was R. Lindley DeVecchio, an FBI agent accused of providing information Scarpa’s father used to commit four murders.

Karl Dresch posted about the D.C. event on Facebook for weeks beforehand, according to the affidavit. The photos, comments and texts continued during and after the storming of the Capitol, according to the affidavit.

The FBI received a tip the next day about Dresch’s posts, which were publicly available, the FBI said.

Posts in the days leading up to Jan. 6, still on Dresch’s page, broadcast the availability of buses to the Capitol. One read “NO EXCUSES! NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER! TAKE THE STREETS! TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY! 1/6/2021=7/4/1776.”

Screenshots of since-deleted posts allegedly from Dresch included shots of him inside the Capitol building.

At 3:14 p.m., about 40 minutes after the first wave of people breached the Capitol, Dresch posted a photo showing the “Crypt,” a location under the Rotunda, according to the affidavit. The caption: “We’re in.” Metadata from the photo showed it was taken at 2:26 p.m., the affidavit said.

At 12:11 a.m. the day after the protests, Dresch posted a video of himself in what the FBI identified as the Capitol visitor’s center. Addressing rumors that the Capitol storming was a false-flag event by Antifa, Dresch allegedly said “antifa did not take the Capitol.that was Patriots.”

“…we the people took back our house, the news is all (bulls***).and now those traitors Know who’s really in charge,” the post said. “And I can’t say I saw any violence from our people, despite all the poking of the capitol police, gassing randomly into the women and children being peaceful, beating old men we kept chill(.)”

Dresch also sent photos and texts in private messages, the affidavit said. They included a photograph of him in the “Crypt” posing with a Trump flag next to a statue of former Vice President John C. Calhoun.

A message to a friend with a photo from inside the “Crypt” was captioned: “That’s right outside the house of representative…we got in! Took a lil gas …wtf I love masks now!”

Four people died during the storming of the Capitol, including a Capitol police officer allegedly killed by protesters. More than 150 people had been arrested as of Tuesday.

FBI Detroit office spokesperson Mara Schneider said numerous cases are still under investigation in Michigan, though she did not have an exact amount.

Dresch faces three charges: knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful entry and impeding or disrupting official functions; obstructing an official proceeding; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

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