Archive for Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Suspect charged in Laos plot confesses, implicates 2 others

June 27, 2007

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— A Rancho Cordova man, one of 10 charged in Sacramento federal court with plotting a violent coup against the Laotian government, confessed and implicated the two key suspects, according to a court document filed Tuesday.

When agents raided the home of Nhia Kao Vang on Monday, he told the officers he "was associated with a group of subjects ... who were attempting to purchase military grade weapons with the intent to use these weapons in a military action against Laos," the document says.

The confession is contained in a court affidavit of Randall Paranick, a California Highway Patrol officer attached to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force and one of the officers who was on the scene Monday at Vang's Faber Way home.

Vang, 48, described for the officers a meeting he and others attended in Sacramento where he "observed and handled military grade weapons," such as AK-47 assault rifles, a Stinger ground-to-air missile and other automatic weapons.

Unbeknownst to the group plotting the takeover of Laos, the "arms dealer" they were counting on to supply them with weapons and high explosives was a smooth-talking undercover agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to court documents.

Vang told the officers that, prior to the meeting in Sacramento, he attended a meeting at a home in Stockton with approximately six others, including other Hmong members of the conspiracy and Harrison Jack, a 60-year-old West Point graduate and former Army infantry officer from Woodland, the affidavit says.

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