About two thousand Hmong Americans protested the arrest of the men, including Hmong community leader General Vang Pao.
Demonstrator Ray Vang was outside the state Capitol, where he explained what the General meant to him:
We Hmong, we doesn’t have no presidents or kings or emperors, we only got a general. So he is the leader of the Hmong people.
According to federal court documents, the men hatched a plot to recruit American fighters and use anti-aircraft weapons to lead a coup against the government of Laos. But their alleged plan was thwarted by an undercover agent. All face possible life sentences for planning a military invasion of a country at peace with the United States.