Huntington Beach man arrested, charged in Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol breach

Brandon Cavanaugh of Huntington Beach has been arrested and charged with breaching the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
(Courtesy of FBI)

A Huntington Beach man was arrested Thursday in connection with the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Brandon Cavanaugh, 30, was arrested in Huntington Beach after a warrant was issued nine days earlier. The charges against him include knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds, disorderly conduct in a Capitol building and parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.

According to the federal complaint filed Aug. 16, the FBI identified messages attributed to Cavanaugh in a private Telegram chat, while executing a search warrant on a different Capitol riot suspect.


The contact was saved in the phone as “Brandon HB Groyper,” and the cellphone number matched Cavanaugh’s, according to the report. He is alleged to have sent two graphically violent messages. One, which used racist language, was sent in March 2021 and the other in June, according to an FBI agent’s affidavit.

The unidentified agent wrote in the report the term “Groyper” meant the person was part of the America First movement.

“Groypers believe they are defending against the demographic and cultural changes that are destroying the ‘true America,’ a white, Christian nation,” the agent wrote. “Groypers attempt to normalize their ideology by aligning themselves with ‘Christianity’ and ‘traditional’ values, such as marriage and family.”

Cavanaugh also allegedly posted a government work ID in the chat. His LinkedIn page states he is the founder, CEO and lead engineer of a technology company, and he also worked as an intern at NASA in 2019.

Brandon Cavanaugh of Huntington Beach allegedly posted his work ID in a Telegram chat where he went by "Brandon HB Groyper."
(Courtesy of FBI)

Investigators found that Cavanaugh flew to Washington, D.C. with another person from Jan. 4 to Jan. 7, 2021, staying at a hotel in Virginia. Video surveillance, witness interviews and other steps established that on Jan. 6, Cavanaugh was inside of the U.S. Capitol for 13 minutes.

A man identified by law enforcement as Cavanaugh is pictured on surveillance video wearing a black leather jacket, blue plaid shirt and red beanie, and carrying a large blue “AF” (America First) flag.

The FBI agent wrote that Cavanaugh also bragged about it on a live streaming website on Jan. 6 and 7. An account that 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!!”

Cavanaugh is one of several Orange County residents who have been connected with the Jan. 6 breach of the Capitol. Last December, Huntington Beach resident Mark Simon was sentenced to 35 days incarceration and ordered to pay $500 in restitution by a federal judge.

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