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Montana man pleads guilty to his role in US Capitol breach

| March 1, 2022 7:00 AM

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man and former U.S. Marine has reached a plea agreement on a federal misdemeanor charge for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol as Congress was counting the Electoral College votes from the November 2020 presidential election.

Andrew Cavanaugh of Belgrade pleaded guilty on Feb. 17 to demonstrating or picketing in a capitol building. He faces up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine when he is sentenced on June 10, court records said.

The plea agreement calls for him to pay $500 in restitution toward the nearly $1.5 million in damages done to the U.S. Capitol that day. Three other charges will be dismissed under the agreement.

Cavanaugh was identified in Capitol riot images because he was wearing a hat with the name of his now-closed firearm academy Tactical Citizen.

Cavanaugh entered the building at 2:23 p.m. and was in the Capitol Crypt at 2:34 p.m. before moving through the Rotunda and leaving, court records said.

"Once inside the Capitol, the defendant saw evidence of rioters' altercations with law enforcement inside the building," court records said. "The defendant knew he should not have gone inside and tried to exit quickly."