Prosecutor: U.P. man charged in US Capitol storming said, 'We will be back'

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

An Upper Peninsula man charged with entering the U.S. Capitol during a Jan. 6 insurrection was denied release ahead of his Washington, D.C., trial and will instead be transported there by U.S. marshals. 

U.S. District Judge Maarten Vermaat ordered Karl Dresch to remain in custody after considering evidence of ammunition and firearms found at his Calumet home this week after Facebook posts Dresch made after the storming of the U.S. Capitol and his history of a 145 miles-per-hour police chase in 2013. 

"The guns and the ammunition are problematic to the court, when you mix those with the statements Mr. Dresch was making at the time of the incident and shortly thereafter," Vermaat said Friday as he ordered Dresch's continued detainment. 

An unidentified man hold a Trump flag at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Dresch's lawyer, Elizabeth LaCosse, had asked for her client's release, arguing that there is no evidence that he had any firearms on him at the Capitol nor is there any indication that Dresch acted in a violent manner.

"He does have some strong political views, but he’s not a violent person," said LaCosse, who noted Dresch's mother and pastor had voiced support for him. 

Dresch, based on his record, “is unable to conform his conduct to the law," U.S. Assistant Attorney Ted Greeley said.

Dresch is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in restricted grounds without lawful authority as well as impeding or disrupting official functions, a one-year misdemeanor carrying up to $100,000 in fines. The other charge is violent entry and disorderly conduct on the U.S. Capitol grounds, a six-month misdemeanor carrying an up to $5,000 fine.

A search of Dresch's Calumet home turned up a Russian-made rifle, a bayonet, two shotguns, a Glock and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, Greeley said. 

Prosecutors said some of the rifle ammunition along with a District of Columbia Metro Card were found at the house in a bag with an Atlanta Braves symbol, a bag that is also pictured in Dresch's photos from the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. There's no evidence Dresch brought the rifle to D.C. but, as a felon, he should not be in possession of any firearms or ammunition, Greeley said.

In addition, on Jan. 7, a day after the storming of the Capitol, Dresch posted, "We will be back if someone gives the word," Greeley said. 

Dresch also made Facebook posts in recent weeks that included an assurance that "antifa did not take the Capitol. That was patriots. ...We the people took back our house."

Later, Dresch posted "Mike Pence gave our country to the communist hoards."

Dresch has fines from 2008 for a disturbing of peace violation and from 2011 for obstructing a police officer. 

Dresch was found guilty of fleeing and eluding police in Wisconsin in relation to a 2013 offense, according to Wisconsin Circuit Court records. One or more other charges were dismissed against him.

During that chase, which crossed into Michigan, Dresch was reported to reach speeds up to about 145 mph, prosecutors said. 

Another Michigan man, Michael Foy of Wixom, was charged Thursday with assault and illegal entry charges in relation to the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. His detention hearing is scheduled for Monday.