Son of former Michigan lawmaker sentenced to time served for participating in Jan. 6 insurrection

By: - August 4, 2021 6:50 pm

Karl Dresch, of Calumet, was sentenced for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection | U.S. Attorney’s Office photo

An Upper Peninsula man who threatened “war everywhere if we let this election get stolen” was sentenced Wednesday to time served after spending six months in prison for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Karl Dresch, 41, of Calumet, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of willfully and knowingly demonstrating in a Capitol building. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dismissed four other counts, including entering restricted grounds, disorderly conduct, and obstructing an official proceeding.

Dresch, who is the son of former state Rep. Stephen Dresch, is among only a handful of insurrectionists to be sentenced so far. More than 535 people, including 11 from Michigan, have been charged in the riots, and the FBI is still looking for about 300 more.

Dresch traveled to Washington, D.C., with Jeremy Ryan Sorvisto, of Hancock, who also was charged for participating in the riot. Dresch was inside the Capitol for about 25 minutes, prosecutors said.

He bragged on social media about participating in the riot and posted a photo of himself posing next to a statue of former Vice President John C. Calhoun.

Before the Jan. 6 siege, Dresch encouraged people to travel to the Capitol to protest.

“I don’t care where you live, your stimulus check will cover a trip to DC and a day off work,” Dresch said on Facebook on Jan. 3. “NO EXCUSES! NO RETREAT! NO SURRENDER! TAKE THE STREETS! TAKE BACK OUR COUNTRY! 1/6/2021= 7/4/1776.”

A Metro Times review of his now-defunct Facebook page shows Dresch was obsessed with former President Donald Trump, insisted the election was stolen, called COVID-19 a “fake disease,” and said suspects accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer “made a procedural error.”

Other Michiganders charged in the riot:

• Michael Joseph Foy, a 30-year-old former Marine from Wixom, was charged less than a week later. Video footage shows him attacking police with a hockey stick.

• James “Jimmy” Mels, 56, of Shelby Township, was arrested on Feb. 11 and charged with entering the Capitol.

• Two Macomb County men – Daniel Herendeen, 43, of Chesterfield Township, and Robert Schornak, 39, of Roseville – were charged on March 18 with storming the Capitol.

• Anthony Robert Williams, 45, of Southgate, was arrested on March 23. He bragged on social media that the insurrection was “the proudest day of my life.”

• Jeramiah Caplinger, 25, of Taylor, was arrested on April 6 and charged with participating in the riot.

• Anthony Michael Puma, 48, who declared on Facebook that “war was coming” and “we might have to start killing some commie bastards” was charged May 27 with storming the Capitol.

• Steven Thurlow, an Army veteran from Macomb County, posted images of himself on social media wearing a Boogaloo patch, camouflage, body armor, and gas mask with a knife and AR-15 rifle. He was arrested last month.

• Trevor Brown, of Novi, bragged on social media about “storming” the Capitol. He was arrested in July.

On Christmas Eve, Dresch urged people on Facebook to attend the “Stop the Steal” protest as “Trump has requested” and shared a tweet in which the president said, “Voter fraud is not a conspiracy theory. It’s a fact.”

“We cannot allow Harris Biden Corporate Communist regime to take control,” Dresch wrote. “That’s why I urge all able bodied men that can possibly make it to go to Washington DC on January 6 as commander in chief Trump has requested, I am making all arrangements so I can be there myself.”

On the day of the insurrection, Dresch posted photos on social media of the mob storming the Capitol and bragged that he and others had entered the building, according to a federal court filing.

“That’s right outside the house of representative…we got in!” he wrote. “Took a lil gas …wtf I love masks now!”

From his house, Dresch sold right-wing paraphernalia such as hats, stickers, and flags. One sticker depicted a car running over protesters below the words, “All lives splatter. Nobody cares about your protest.” Another sticker showed a gun with the phrase, “Get pumped!”

He sold confederate flags and Trump 2020 hats and stickers.

On Dec. 5, he wrote, “Traitors are worse than enemies, what did they used to say about an enemy and a traitor and only one bullet?”

He declared on Nov. 23, “It’s war everywhere if we let this election get stolen.”

Dresch appeared paranoid of a nefarious “communist” plot and encouraged people on Nov. 27 to “keep your tank full and fuel on hand, are sure your family has food in stock and supplementary heating options, KEEP YOUR POWDER Dry!!!”

“Donald Trump has won this election but a theft is being attempted , your ability to communicate will be impaired by these conspirators, you cannot depend on your phone , email, or Facebook, HAVE A CB RADIO!” he posted above an image that read, “Liberty or Death. Don’t Tread On Me.”

“Your country needs YOU!” he continued. “Your president needs YOU! Your family needs YOU!”

Dresch also directed his anger at Whitmer, who he suggested was part of a plot “find a new powerful strain” of COVID-19.

“What’s the citizens arrest procedure again?” he wrote. “the last guys made a procedural error and she got off on a technicality #LiberateMichigan #manoftheyear/person of the year.”

This story first ran in the Detroit Metro Times and you can read it here. Subscribe to our newsletters, and follow us on Google NewsApple NewsTwitterFacebookInstagram, or Reddit.

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Steve Neavling
Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist with the Detroit Metro Times. He operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker, Neavling was a five-year veteran of the Detroit Free Press, covering Detroit’s city hall.

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