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Michigan man takes plea deal in Capitol riot, released

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, supporters loyal to then-President Donald Trump, try to...
FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, supporters loyal to then-President Donald Trump, try to break through a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. Key figures in the Jan. 6 riot on U.S. Capitol spoke about their desire to overthrow the government, but to date, U.S prosecutors have charged no one with sedition. They could still add them. But prosecutors may be reluctant to bring them because of their legal complexity and the difficulty in securing convictions. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)(Julio Cortez | AP)
Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 12:22 PM EDT
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CALUMET, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan 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 in the Upper Peninsula, 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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