The defendants include a former Laotian military general who helped the CIA wage covert war in Southeast Asia more than 30 years ago and a former officer in the California National Guard.
US Attorney McGregor Scott says the suspects didn’t know they were interacting with an undercover federal agent posing as an arms dealer.
"The conspirators made elaborate arrangements to acquire hundreds of AK-47 assault rifles, several surface to air stinger missles, other weapon systems and significant quantities of munitions from the agent."
Scott says the plot was led by Vang Pao, a prominent Hmong leader who lives in Orange County, and Harrison Jack of Yolo County, a former California National Guard Lieutenant Colonel. The defendants face the possibility of life in prison