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Huntington Beach man who allegedly bragged about breaching the Capitol is arrested, charged

Orange County Register 8/27/2022 Caitlin Antonios, The Orange County Register

A Huntington Beach man was arrested Thursday, Aug. 25, after a federal complaint was filed last week alleging he breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, then bragged about it online.

Federal investigators said they became aware of Brandon Cavanaugh, described as in his 30s, after looking through a Telegram chat on a different Capitol riot suspect’s phone. Someone listed under the contact name “Brandon HB Groyper” used racist and violent language in the chat, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit.

“Groypers,” a term describing members of the America First movement, “believe they are defending against the demographic and cultural changes that are destroying the ‘true America,’ a white, Christian nation,” the agent wrote.

The contact name was connected to Cavanaugh’s cell phone number. Also, Cavanaugh at one point had provided a photo of himself and his email in the chat, the affidavit said.

Cavanaugh has been charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building without lawful authority, disorderly conduct in a Capitol Building, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, and parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol Building, according to the complaint.

Investigators estimate Cavanaugh was inside the U.S. Capitol for approximately 13 minutes. Surveillance footage captured a man, identified by law enforcement as Cavanaugh, wearing a black leather jacket, blue plaid shirt, red beanie, and carrying a large blue “AF [America First]” flag.

On Jan. 6 and 7, the FBI agent wrote, an account on a live streaming website investigators connected to Cavanaugh posted “HB local in DC right now!!” and “Hey HB groyper here I just got back from the capitol!! I got inside!!”

Records confirmed that Cavanaugh and one other person flew from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. on Jan.4, and stayed in a hotel in Virginia before flying back on Jan. 7, court documents state.

Numerous Southern California residents have been accused of or have admitted to taking part in the Capitol riot last year.

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