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U.P. man takes plea deal in Capitol riot

CALUMET (AP) — An Upper Peninsula man charged in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor Wednesday and was released after more than six months in custody.

Prosecutors in Washington dropped other charges against Karl Dresch in exchange for his guilty plea to willfully demonstrating in a Capitol building, defense attorney Jerry Ray Smith Jr. said.

“I’m going to be happy to send him home,” said Smith, who declined additional comment.

Dresch, 40, a Calumet resident, was arrested in January and held without bond.

His social media activity, especially photos, led investigators to him. Dresch posted several messages and joked about the use of tear gas by police at the Capitol.

Dresch posted a photo of himself holding a Donald Trump flag while standing next to a statue of slavery defender John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, who was vice president from 1825 through 1832.

While Dresch didn’t commit violence, “he was arrested because he was an enthusiastic participant in an effort to subvert and undo the electoral process,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said.

Dresch’s late father, Stephen, was a dean at Michigan Technological University and a Republican state lawmaker in 1991-92.

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