The FBI says Karl Dresch of Calumet in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was part of the crowd that stormed and breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 in what some have described as an attempt at domestic terrorism.
Nearly 16 years prior, in March 2005, his father, Stephen Dresch, helped the FBI thwart a potential terrorist attack linked to anti-government Oklahoma City bomber and Lapeer native Terry Nichols.
Karl Dresch, 40, is now behind bars facing federal charges of entering and remaining in a restricted grounds; disorderly and disruptive conduct; disorderly conduct in a Capitol building, illegal demonstrating in a Capitol building and tampering with a witness, victim or informant.
If convicted, Karl Dresch could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for his role in the Capitol attack by supporters of President Donald Trump that resulted in the deaths of a police officer and four rioters, including one who was fatally shot by Capitol police and three others who died of “medical emergencies.”
It isn’t the first time someone from the Dresch family has made national news.
On April Fool’s Day 2005, FBI investigators removed long-hidden explosive materials that had been stashed in a home previously owned by Nichols’ in Herington, Kansas , in part, based on a tip provided by Karl Dresch’s father.
Retired FBI spokesman and Special Agent Jeff Lanza remembers arriving to the scene and relaying what few details were available to curious reporters and TV news crews waiting nearby.
“It would be an amazing coincidence that the same family would have information pertaining to two very, very important and historical events in our county’s history,” Lanza said when contacted by MLive this week.
By 2005, Nichols had been convicted and sentenced to life in prison, where he remains today, for his role in the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. His co-conspirator, Timothy McVeigh, died by lethal injection four years prior.
“There was some lead that there was either weapons or materials related to weapons, like blasting caps and things like that,” said Lanza, who now earns a living giving speeches about cybersecurity and identity theft protection.
“It was just a couple weeks shy of the 10th anniversary of the bombing, so making that discovery was not only interesting but also coincidental on timing,” he said. “I know stuff was found under a foot or so of gravel that was under the stairwell. It was an area that wasn’t searched during multiple searches of Nichols’ house.”
The tip that led FBI agents to bomb-making materials beneath Nichols’ house in central Kansas came through Stephen Dresch, who learned about it from imprisoned mobster Anthony Scarpa Jr., a high-ranking member of the infamous New York City Colombo crime family.
Scarpa Jr. told Dresch he learned the information during a conversation with Nichols. Scarpa Jr. and Nichols were both serving federal prison sentences in Colorado, Scarpa Jr. for conspiracy to murder and drug trafficking.
Nichols told the Oklahoman newspaper weeks later that rumors he was plotting a second terrorist attack using the explosives on the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing were false.
Related: Stephen Dresch Mackinac Center bio
Stephen Dresch, who died at 62 in 2006, worked as an international, for-hire — and sometimes pro bono — investigator.
He developed a relationship with Scarpa Jr. while investigating the mafioso’s hit-man father, Gregory “Grim Reaper” Scarpa Sr., said Angela Clemente, a forensic intelligence analyst and congressional consultant who worked with Stephen Dresch at the time.
Muskegon-born Clemente, who now lives in New Jersey, teamed with Dresch in 1998 to investigate an FBI agent and mob informant handler, Roy Lindley DeVecchio, who would eventually be indicted on allegations that he protected and sometimes gave confidential…