SACRAMENTO -- A federal grand jury in California Monday indicted a venerated Hmong general and nine others for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government of Laos.
Vang Pao, who commanded the CIA forces in the fight against Communist forces during the Vietnam War, and eight of the defendants are accused of violating the United States' neutrality act by scheming to invade a foreign nation, The Sacramento Bee reported. A 10th suspect, Harrison Ulrich Jack of Woodland, Calif., is a retired West Point-educated lieutenant colonel who now runs a consulting company and who allegedly conspired to obtain large numbers of weapons, missiles, mines and explosives, the newspaper said.
The indictments handed down in Sacramento culminated a six-month investigation that included meetings between undercover agents and the alleged conspirators to discuss transferring weapons to Thailand and Laos.
Pao, who lives in the Fresno area and Minnesota, has spent decades promoting the overthrow of the Communist regime in Laos. Some suspects allegedly approached former U.S. military veterans to serve as mercenaries, the Bee reported.
Jack, who allegedly approached defense contractors seeking munitions, recently created the non-profit Hmong Emergency Relief Organization.
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