Johnny Benitez, Rising Star In Alt-Right Circles, Isn't Who He Says He Is—Or Is He?
Updated: Aug 25
Three bald white guys seated on the patio of the Gypsy Den in Santa Ana last November had one thing on their minds: reviving the long-dormant Orange County chapter of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), a leftist labor union better known as the Wobblies. Sterling Abrades was dressed in all black, a Louis Vuitton scarf draped over his shoulders—because nothing says class struggle like accessorizing! The licensed massage therapist talked about his background with Greenpeace and mentioned he spoke with folks thinking about starting a local anti-fascist (or "antifa") group. Abrades mused about starting a worker-owned spa, a task doable with just $400,000 in initial funds. But others had more pragmatic goals in mind: finding at least one person to recruit by year's end to grow the group. "I don't have any social networks," Abrades told them.
Except those in his own mind. See, Sterling Abrades isn't Sterling Abrades. His real name is Juan Cadavid. And for the past couple of months, Cadavid tried to join different leftist OC groups under the names "Sterling Abrades" and "Dorian Navidson."
Read more on my latest OC Weekly News Feature out on stands tomorrow: