U.P. man pleads guilty after entering Capitol during Jan. 6 insurrection

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

A Hancock man pleaded guilty Friday to one misdemeanor count of parading or demonstrating in the U.S. Capitol after he entered the building during the Jan. 6 insurrection, according to court documents. 

Investigators have said Jeremy Sorvisto traveled to Washington, D.C., with another individual charged in the insurrection, entered the Capitol and drank a beer on the front steps.

He is one of 11 Michigan residents charged in the Jan. 6 insurrection, when rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress held to count electoral votes and formalize President Joe Biden's victory.

A photo of Jeremy Sorvisto drinking beer on the Capitol steps, Jan. 6, 2021 was included in some of his charging documents when he was arrested for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Sorvisto initially was charged with entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or groups, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating or picketing a Capitol building.

With three of those counts dismissed, Sorvisto faces up to six months in jail and has agreed to pay $500 as part of the $1.5 million in restitution owed to fix the damage at the Capitol. His sentencing is Nov. 19.

Investigators have said Sorvisto traveled to the U.S. Capitol Jan. 5 with Karl Dresh, a 40-year-old Calumet man who earlier this month received six months in prison, time already served for his involvement in the insurrection. Dresch also was ordered to pay $500 in restitution.

Sorvisto was featured in photos taken by and briefly posted to the social media accounts of his fiancé Ashley Aho, according to his charging documents. The photos showed Sorvisto traveling to Washington D.C. and entering a hotel in Chantilly, Virginia, where he stayed with Dresch and others on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6. 

Investigators later used the jacket and hat Sorvisto was wearing and a flag he was carrying in the social media and hotel surveillance photos to identify him in surveillance video inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

In Facebook messages later subpoenaed by the FBI, Aho told an unnamed user that Dresch had been arrested and his phone taken. 

"So they'll know we messaged Karl about renting the car and s---...Every time we hear someone outside we freak tf out," she wrote according to the complaint. 

The recipient of the messages tried to calm Aho, noting "you weren't there."

"Yeah. Jeremy was tho," she wrote. "He goes I go. Ride or die."

Aho later told another recipient that she and Sorvisto drank a beer on the Capitol steps and sent the user a photo of Sorvisto with a green bottle.

"There's Jeremy. I forgot to take a selfie," she wrote, according to charging documents.  

Other photos sent over Facebook included one of Sorvisto in a mask inside the Crypt of the Capitol building and another of protesters, preceded by a message that said, "They're gassing us. Lol we got protection tho (sic). Going into the Whitehouse" and then later "In the capital (sic)."

Prosecutors have charged more than 500 people nationwide in connection to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

eleblanc@detroitnews.com